Friday, November 12, 2010

Bears v. Vikes - Game that defines a year?

Bear-Vikings -- where fans root for their teams to win and also root for their teams to fire the coaches. - Sam Rosen, chicago tribune, 11/10/10

I couldnt put this game in any better words. But all joking aside this game is could be season determining for both teams. As of right now the bears are 2-0 within the division and if they win 3-0 would give them the upper hand on winning the division. The vikes are 3-5 overall and 1-1 in the division and if they lose to the bears you can almost write them off in the division and for any chance at a wildcard because you are gonna have to go atleast 9-7 to get a wildcard berth. So, lets everyone get excited for this game.

Key Matchups
1. Kruetz v. Williams Mountains - Every bears fan know that the Williams DTs kill the bears. The questions is can the bears block them well enough to have some semblance of the running game and to give Culter a pocket to step up into? It will be up to Kruetz and the guards to take care of these guys and drive this offense.
2. Favre v. Tillman & Jennings - The bears have been playing a lot of cover 2 and zone this year because they have had the opponents in 3rd and longs a ton. The zone is good because it lets the defensive players play an area and keep looking into the backfield. This lets the defense see where the ball is going and drive on the play. However, this weekend the king of the pump fake, Favre is in the backfield. The bears have to play disciplined coverage and not try to jump every route or pump fake which is hard for a defense that is so focused on getting turnovers. Otherwise, they could be beat deep a lot.
3. Adrian Peterson's hands - The bears have caused 8 fumbles on defense this year. Peterson has fumbled zero times this year. He has however fumbled 3 times in the last 2 games versus the bears. If the bears can get the ball to pop out, they should win the turnover battle and then likely the game.

Keys for the Bears
1. Unleash Jay. Yep, this is exactly what I have pretty much have been adovacating the past couple of weeks. But realistically, the bears dont have a good running game and its incredibly hard to run against the vikes. But, they can be had in the pass game. Some playaction and deep balls should available for the bears. I say this is the week to really see if Martz's offense can work. It may be a gamble but realistically the bears are going to need an explosive offense in the 2nd half to make the playoffs.
2. Contain AP. I'm not sure you can really stop the "Purple Jesus" as some call him. But you can make him work hard and contain him. He has historically had big games against the bears but if you keep him to 4 yds per carry and no big runs, it should be considered a win for the bears defense.
3. Maximize your weapons. Its simple on offense. Put your guys in the position to do what they do best. That means look for Greg Olsen to stretch the defense down the seam and in the redzone. Throw a couple deep balls to Johnny Knox to loosen up the defense and see if he can break one. Get Hester the ball out in space and see if he can run past people. And use Forte and Taylor out of the backfield to create mismatches. By now, Martz should have figured out what his guys to best and now he needs to show us he can use them in that way.

Hero for the Day
I could be a total homer and pick Matt Forte cause I just traded for him in my fantasy league but instead I will say Greg Olsen. I think he got back on track last week and I look for at least 1 td and a couple deep balls down the middle to him. Time for him to show that he can be an impact TE in this league.

I think this will be too close for comfort at halftime with the bears possibly even losing. The vikes know they have to win this game and they will come out swinging. But, i think the bears are the better TEAM right now and will come out ahead.
Bears 24, Vikes 21

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