Monday, December 20, 2010

Bears v. Vikes - Division clincher?

First off, I have said nothing about last week's debacale vs. the pats because really there is nothing good or constructive to take from the game. Just forget about it and move on. But, tonight with a win the bears have a chance to clinch the NFC North. As impossible as that would have sounded at the beginning of the year, its true.

Key Matchups:
1. Julius Peppers v. Bryant McKinnie. McKinnie used to be a premier LT in the league but he has lost it. He has problems with speed rushers and can be beaten right away off the snap. Pep needs a big game and the bears need to put constant pressure in the backfield on what might be a sloppy night.
2. Matt Forte v. Chad Greenway. Greenway is the vikes leading tackler and will probably be in charge of covering forte in pass coverage. Call me crazy Mike Martz but Forte has been your most explosive weapon on offense all year so get him the ball in space. I like that the bears are running the ball more but Forte showed earlier in the season that he is an excellent and elusive runner on those swing pass and screens. With the weather probably being a factor tonight about we see some more of those and Forte running past Greenway.

Bear's Key:
1. Ability to play in bear football. As this is posting, the forecast in MN is for 20s and snow. Last week the bears looked like a team that plays in dome. The pass rushers didnt know how to deal with the ground and weather and the offensive line was revealed (again) to be a finesse group that couldnt blow people off the line. As it sets up now, it looks like there will be atleast 1 home game in january at Soldier's Field. It might help to figure out how to play outdoors in cold weather before then.
2. Contain the purple jesus. Or Adrian Peterson as most people call him. With the vikings playing their 3rd string QB, we are gonna see a whole lot of AP. I'm not sure the bears can stop but just contain him. Without any big runs by him, it will be very hard for the vikings to move the ball and we will see them punt the ball a whole lot.

Hero of the Day:
Lance Briggs. This is the type of game that Lance can change with his play. The weather will be sloppy and if lance can get a pick or force a fumble that could spell doom for the vikes. Look for him to be all over the place and in on most of the tackles and cause at least 1 turnover on the night.

Bears 24, Vikes 14.
Even though the vikes are playing with their 3rd string QB, this is still a division game and these teams dont like each other. It will be a physical game with a lot of punts and defense will probably rule the night. Still, the night will end up with the bears being NFC North winners!

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