TALE OF THE TAPE

Tale Of The Tape: Chicago Bears At Minnesota Vikings

Chicago Bears
Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
(Photo Tom Lynn /Getty Images)
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)
(Photo Tom Lynn /Getty Images)
Quarterback
Winner The Bears are functional on offense even with Jay Cutler sidelined due to ankle and groin programs. Josh McCown is a solid backup quarterback who may not have Cutler’s velocity or arm strength, but he reads defenses well and throws the ball accurately. Most importantly, he understands timing and he will not rush his throws.
Vikings head coach Leslie Frazier has not made a lot of correct decisions concerning the Vikings’ quarterback situation, but he has done one thing right by leaving Josh Freeman on the bench. Christian Ponder may not be much, but he is better than Freeman and he appears to be getting better. Ponder does not make as many mistakes when he is in the pocket, and that’s progress.
Offense
Winner The Bears want Matt Forte to get 20 touches or more every game. He is a smooth runner who has the power to break arm tackles. He’s also a dependable receiver, but he could be slowed by an ankle injury. Brandon Marshall has size, strength and the speed to make big plays. Alshon Jeffery and tight end Martellus Bennett are good receivers who can take the heat off Marshall.
Adrian Peterson has been playing with a bit of a groin problem, but he still rushed for a season-high 146 yards against the Packers in Week 12. He should be able to rip apart a Bears defense that lacks strength at the point of attack. Look for backup Toby Gerhart to have a solid game as well. Ponder will try to get the ball to wide receivers Greg Jennings and Jerome Simpson, but the running game should dominate.
Defense
The Bears were known for their hard-hitting and effective defense for generations, but that unit has fallen on miserable times. The Bears gave up more than 10 yards per carry in their Week 12 loss to the Rams, and they could get overwhelmed by Peterson. Chicago desperately needs linebacker Lance Briggs and cornerback Charles Tillman back in the lineup, but that won’t happen this week.
Winner The Vikings have had plenty of problems on defense this year as they rank 30th overall and 29th against the pass, but that unit stiffened in overtime when the Packers had a first-and-goal situation but were forced to settle for a field goal. Linebacker Chad Greenway is not a knockout hitter, but he leads the Vikings with 95 tackles. Defensive ends Jared Allen and Bryan Robison each have 5.0 sacks.
Special Teams
The Bears have not been dependable in their special teams coverage and that could cost them badly against explosive Cordarrelle Patterson. Devin Hester had a punt return for a TD called back against the Rams as a result of a penalty. PK Robbie Gould is very dependable.
Winner Patterson has remarkable speed and he has already returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, while Marcus Sherels has a punt return for a score. The Vikings have given up a punt return for a score. PK Blair Walsh has made 19-of-21 FG attempts and has one of the strongest legs in the NFL.

We'll Just Call it a Tie

(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images) (Photo Tom Lynn /Getty Images)

The Bears should have a big advantage over the struggling Vikings, but the Chicago defense has fallen apart and they will not be able to slow down Adrian Peterson. That weakness may trump the Bears’ advantage at the skill positions.

MORE TALES OF THE TAPE

  1. (credit: CBS) (credit: CBS)
    Better Acquisition: Kevin Garnett Or Torii Hunter?

    These two moves are the most recent in a series of moves where Minnesota sports teams are bringing back fan favorites who left after starting their careers here. So it begs the question, who’s the better acquisition, Garnett for the Timberwolves or Hunter for the Twins?

  2. (credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images) (credit: Alex Goodlett/Getty Images)
    Can The Gophers Still Make The NCAA Tournament?

    After losing at Indiana Sunday night, the Gophers are 16-10 overall and 5-8 in Big Ten play with five games remaining. Do they still have a chance to make the Big Dance? Here’s why they will and why they won’t.

  3. Members of the New England Patriots celebrate with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after defeating the Seattle Seahawks 28-24 in Super Bowl XLIX. Recording artist Katy Perry performs onstage during the Pepsi Super Bowl XLIX Halftime Show.
    Was Super Bowl XLIX Or Katy Perry’s Halftime Show More Exciting?

    I don’t usually watch Super Bowl halftime shows. But when I do, it has Katy Perry. How did her performance measure up to the game?

See All Tales of the Tape
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,271 other followers