Gridiron Gab Preview Week Ten – Minnesota at Chicago

The Minnesota Vikings are coming to Chicago..and they’re bringing more drama than a night on the town with the cast of the Jersey Shore:

  • The Brett Favre ’sexting’ scandal
  • The Randy Moss trade and subsequent release
  • A potential player mutiny against their coach

A Bears win would pretty much slam the door on Minnesota’s playoff hopes, knocking them 3 games back in the NFC North.

How will they fare? Here are 6 matchups that will determine the Bears’ fate…

1) Adrian Peterson vs. the Entire Bears Defense

Any chance of beating the Vikings starts with containing AP. The Bears have been stout against the run so far this year. But besides Ahmad Bradshaw of the Giants (who ran for 129 vs. the Bears) Urlacher and crew haven’t seen a running back like Peterson. AP has averaged 122 yards a game over his career vs. Chicago. It’ll take the entire D-line, LBs and run support from Bears safeties to corral Peterson.

  • Advantage: Vikings

2) Viking WRs vs. Bears DBs

Does the wide-receiving tandem of Bernard Berrian and Greg Camarillo scare you? If Percy Harvin (migraines) and Sidney Rice (hip) don’t play, that duo would have to carry the receiving load for Brett Favre. Even if one or both of the injured guys can go, the Bears will get a boost with the return of CB Zack Bowman and the increased playing time of Major Wright.

  • Advantage: Bears

3) Julius Peppers vs. MIN Tackle Bryant McKinnie.

During a Sunday night game last year vs. the Vikings, then-Carolina Panther Julius Peppers owned McKinnie to the tune of one sack, one batted pass and 5 QB hurries, which led to McKinnie ultimately getting benched. As Bears fans learned early this season, Peppers can control games without even registering a sack. If he can entice the Viking tackles into holding penalties, false starts and drawing of double-teams, Peppers will have effectively tormented Chilly’s offense.

  • Advantage: Bears

4) Jay Cutler vs. Brett Favre.

I’m putting the over-under on total INTs in this one at 4. Whichever gunslinger makes the least amount of mistakes will likely come out on top. If the Bears are able to muster any kind of running game whatsoever, it should benefit the Bears passing game by cutting down on Cutler attempts. Favre leads the league in INTs with 13. Cutler had his first INT-less game in a month, which probably means he’s due for a stinker.

  • Advantage: Push

5) The Mullet and Williams Wall vs. The Fighting Mike Tices

Olin Kruetz was limited in practice this week. Assuming he can go on Sunday, he’ll need to mentor Chris Williams as the duo tackles the dreaded Williams Wall. With only a few games under his belt at left guard, Williams will face his toughest challenge when he tries to push back on the Vikings’ massive defense tackles. On the outside, rookie right tackle Jamarcus Webb gets his first taste of purple. The suddenly pedestrian Jared Allen will battle Frank Omiyale and is probably due for a breakout game. The Bears line may serve as the perfect remedy for #69.

  • Advantage: Vikings

6) MIN Punter Chris Kluwe vs. Devin Hester.

The Bears need big plays from their D, special teams or offense to hang with the Vikes. Chances are the Bears offense won’t be able to matriculate the ball down the field with regularity, so it’s going to take a big play to keep Chicago in the game. Who better to make that game-changing play than the Windy City Flyer…assuming he’s able to get his hands on a punt.

  • Advantage: Push (MIN won’t kick the ball anywhere near Hester)

Prediction

I think the Vikings’ defense will contain the Bears offense and force a tide-turning turnover that will lead directly to a Minnesota touchdown.

Vikings: 28
Bears: 20


Enjoyed this post?
Subscribe to NFL Gridiron Gab via RSS Feed or E-mail and receive daily news updates from us!

Submit to Digg  Stumble This Story  Share on Twitter  Post on Facebook  Post on MySpace  Add to del.icio.us  Bark It Up  Submit to Reddit  Fave on Technorati

Comments are closed.