Bears vs. Vikings

Sunday Showdown: Vikings at Bears

I should have titled this post, buy viagra “Is it even worth watching” because let’s be honest, physician the Bears haven’t given Chicago much to enjoy this football season.  The Bears are now stuck with a 3-6 record and over 100 points have been scored on them in the last 2 games.  The soap opera continued this week with lackluster press conferences post a Green Bay butt-kicking, medicine Marshall threatening to fight Detroit Instagram trolls via Twitter, and Cutler’s position in the hot seat due to his lack of motivation and responsibility as a “franchise” QB.

It does not surprise me that fans are encouraging one another to boycott Sunday’s game at 12PM CT vs. the Minnesota Vikings (4-5). However, if you plan on attending or watching, here’s what you need to know:

In the history of the match-up, the Vikings have lost the last six and 12 of the last 13 away games against the Bears and Chicago is 7-3 against Minnesota since 2009.

On paper, Chicago has the better offense and Minnesota has the better defense. However, Minnesota came back to beat RG III and the Redskins, 29-26 their last game while Chicago was blown-out by Green Bay, 55-14.  Minnesota is looking for another victory to begin a potential play-off run; Chicago is looking for a victory because without it, they are a complete lost cause.

Key players on the Vikings:

Rookie QB – Teddy Bridgewater

bridgewaterBridgewater, a rookie QB out of Louisville had a career-high 26 passes for 268 yards vs. the Washington Redskins. He had zero turnovers and was sacked only twice. While Bridgewater might be slightly giddy to face Chicago’s defense, he’s admitted that his caliber of play might not be the same Chicago’s past 2 QB opponents, Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers. That said, Chicago needs to take advantage of his rookie status.

RBs – Jerick McKinnon + Matt Asiata

Minnesota is known for their running game (currently the 10th ranked rushing offense) but have been missing NFL star RB Adrian Peterson since September. That said, the Vikings have heavily relied on Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata to pick up the slack in Peterson’s absence.  The duo have been performing well; Asiata has six rushing touchdowns and McKinnon has 446 rushing yards.

Key players for the Bears:

QB – Jay Cutler

I feel like a broken record but I honestly can’t figure out the puzzle that is our offense. How can we have 4 pro-bowlers on our offense, yet lack consistency?  At this point, who do you hold accountable?  My fingers are pointed at the man who throws the football.

Jay Cutler

Last week against the Packers, Cutler threw for 272 passing yards with one touchdown. He also turned over the football three times which included an interception that was returned for a touchdown by GB’s Hayward. I understand that Cutler has had a hard time beating the Packers, but watching him fail miserably gives fans and his team a lack of confidence in their QB. Cutler normally does play well against Minnesota, so hopefully he can finally find rhythm with WR Jeffery and Marshall.

DE – Jared Allen

I have to mention Allen in my posts this season but it is definitely time I do so.  As you know, he was a huge off-season pick-up for Chicago and he spent his last 6 years in Minnesota before switching up his jersey.  So far, he has yet to be a defense standout that Chicago so desperately needs. He has only 1 sack this season and has battled pneumonia.  Would be nice to see him pummel his former team and give QB Bridgewater some hell. If there was any better time to prove that he was worth the money, it is now.

My takeaway:

Chicago Bears, are you going to clean up this mess or are you going to continue to drag your heels in the mud?  You need to figure out a way to score points on offense, prevent points on defense and you know, just act like you are a PROFESSIONAL NFL football team!  A desperately needed home victory  vs. a mediocre competitor in our division might convince some fans to follow the rest of your season, especially when your next on the schedule is vs. former Coach Lovie Smith and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. For your sanity (and your job), I hope you can pull off a victory but sadly I don’t foresee that happening.

About the author: Ashley Sellers. Bears Correspondent. A native of the NW Chicago suburbs, Ashley is a devout Chicago sports fan with a particular love for the Sox, Bears and Blackhawks. A graduate of SIU-Carbondale with a BA Radio-Television and a MA in Public Relations/Advertising, Ashley is a communications professional who occassionally moonlights as a dance instructor.  She is also a member of a dance company in the suburbs and she collects teddy bears and donates them to the children’s floor in local area hospitals through her “Prayer Bears Care” initiative.  In addition to the ’05 World Series and the 2010, 2013 and 2015 Stanley Cup championships, her favorite sports moment was “shooting the puck” at a Blackhawks game (she missed).

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