Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler thinks offensive coordinator Adam Gase’s history with Peyton Manning has contributed to his improved play. The Vikings’ last win was when Adrian Peterson was a rookie and rushed for 224 yards on Soldier Field and Ryan Longwell won it with a 55-yard field in the final seconds.
Well, that’s a good angle, and likely a good motivator for the troops.
“[Head coach Mike Zimmer] started talking about it and B-Rob and Chad [Greenway] finished the sentence for him”, quarterback Teddy Bridgewater said. He’s done a good job of picking up pressures.
“I know his background and track record and things he did at Northern Illinois”, Zimmer said. So, it doesn’t play very well in team meetings.
I may have said that I’m going to stop writing about the Jets but sometimes it’s hard to avoid them.
After beating the Lions in Detroit, the Vikings maintained a two game deficit to the Packers in the NFC North standings.
Zimmer didn’t meet Kill until Zimmer was hired by the Vikings last year. Matthew Stafford didn’t have much of a chance to throw once the defensive front took after him, but the Vikings can’t expect that kind of pass rush success against the Bears.
“We talked about it, but it’s one game at a time and we can’t bring up the past”, nose tackle Linval Joseph said. We’ve got nowhere to go but up. “That’s our goal, to get a win and get back home”.
“I’ve only played there one year, but I know last year, the game clock going out made it difficult last year”, Bridgewater said. Averaging 240 yards a game, Cutler and the Bears throw the ball 56% of the time.
While the Bears (2-4) did not list one of their top receivers on the injury report for the first time since the second week of the season, they might have to get by without starting center Hroniss Grasu. “But I think he’s not too upset about being in Carolina, where they’re undefeated”. When you consider that Cutler has only had Alshon Jeffrey for two games, a less than 100 percent Eddie Royal, and in essence an entirely new offensive line, it has been according to Fox, “pretty impressive”.
The difference could come in the red zone, where both teams struggle on offense, but Minnesota has the fourth-best defense inside the 20.
That speed element will challenge the Bears’ safeties to stay disciplined, and the Bears would get a big boost if Antrel Rolle can return. The Bears defense was getting older under former coach Lovie Smith and then offensive-minded coach Marc Trestman.
It was the first time 11 Vikings receivers caught passes since November 4, 1979, a bounty squandered in a 37-7 loss to the St. Louis Cardinals. I hope they keep doubting our football team, because that’s the mentality I’m trying to get them (to have).
And then they will be off to slay even bigger, nastier dragons. On defense, the Bears rank 31 in points allowed (29.8 per game) and ninth in yards allowed (344.8 per game). In points allowed per game, Chicago is dead last in the league, allowing around 30 points per game.
Defensively, the Vikings are tough, rushing the quarterback with abandon and offensively, they’ve got a bruising runner and some speedy young wideouts. That may be just what Peterson wants to hear, as his 224 yards against the Bears in 2007 was a franchise worst for Chicago. Wednesday, he was out with finger, hip and ankle injuries. But a betting person would side with Peterson getting on the field this weekend.
The Minnesota Vikings are in the middle of the softest part of their schedule and can’t afford a letdown or a mental block to prevent them from beating an inferior Bears team in Chicago for the first time since 2007. The Bears won that NFC divisional playoff game 35-18 in Minnesota after being swept by the Vikings during the regular season.