Offense wins games, defense — just costs money.
Many expected a typical black ‘n blue, NFC North slug fest between Chicago and Minnesota. Few imagined the battle to see more than 48 points, let alone a single team reaching that mark. Even less envisioned the offensive show which was on display at Soldier Field to produce what turned out to be the second highest scoring game of the season.
Both legendary coaches George Halas and Bud Grant would’ve been mightily frustrated to witness what 62,235 fans in attendance viewed this afternoon, as the Kyle Orton-led Bears outscored, outlasted, and outmaneuvered the Vikings 48-41. Those who were looking for the high-priced defenses to finally step up and earn their money’s worth went away utterly shocked and surprised. Needless to say, the result was mind-boggling and baffling to two teams that pride themselves on defense.
Various experts thought the match-up would be decided in the trenches – not through the air. Nonetheless, the contests between the two fierce rivals saw more “twists & turns” than a dance floor occupied on a Saturday night by “SoulTrain”.
Thus, lead changes and ties were aplenty, while defensive miscues and errors were a many, in a game which saw more than its share of plays over twenty. The recurring and popular theme of the day seemed to be the pathetic performances of the defenses, as they were picked apart play after play, a sharp contrasts for two units who were described as formidable rather than lackluster in September. Disappointing, considering all the cash handed out during the off-season for both of these squads.
This game was a matter of who would finish or blink first, and in this case neither team did – it justs so happened that Minnesota ran out of time and rookie CB Zack Bowman (recovered punt in end zone for TD) chose the best time to come up with the first pick of his career.
On a day where the Bears where missing both their starting corner backs and nickel back, (not to mention Devin Hester left with a quad injury – already with Brandon Lloyd out) they received unexpected help from an inexperienced (first career game) source – who knows, maybe if they would’ve received this type of play from a veteran we could be hyping them as legitimate NFC contenders.
For now, this just goes to show you why depth is such a key, important factor in succeeding in an injury-plagued NFL on a week-to-week basis. Who knows what Chicago will need from on out if they want to win the division and compete in post season play.
What we do know: Both these teams have gone away from relying on their supposedly strong and stingy defenses to their new and improved offenses. If you liked Part 1 of the rivalry, than plan ahead for the sequel and circle your calendars for November 30th, where the two rivals will collide that Sunday Night in the Metrodome.
For the Vikings, Adrian Peterson ran for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns and Gus Frerotte threw four interceptions. The defeat drops Minnesota to 3-4 entering next week’s Bye. For the Bears, Kyle Orton threw for 283 yards and 2 touchdowns and the Special teams tacked on two scores to help the cause.
The victory improves Chicago’s record to 4-3 and moves them atop the division entering an off-week. Who would’ve thought that through 7 games the Bears would be averaging 28 points per game!