Well the Bears are 2-3, 3rd place in the NFC North division, and looking up at the undefeated Packers and Lions (both of whom have already beaten the Bears this season) atop the division. Let’s just say that the Bears chances of getting into the post-season are cut out for them. It’s still early, but being three games behind both division leaders and being behind on the tie breakers leaves the Bears with little wiggle-room for failure.
That’s the bad news. The good news is that the Bears play the only team in the division that’s worse than them — the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings are 1-4 and have the worst offense the Bears have seen all season (so far). The reason for their anemic offense is their 31st ranked passing attack. This will help a demoralized Bears’ defense that has been scorched for over 284 yards passing per game this season.
This doesn’t mean the Vikings will be push overs. They do have the 3rd best rushing attack in the NFL and have one of the best RB’s in the game today with Adrian Peterson. Not to mention that Peterson has the rookie rushing record for yards in a game against the Bears when he ran for 224 yards on 20 carries and 3 TD’s back in 2007. But since then, the Bears have managed to contain him, if not stop him altogether.
It’s no secret that the Bears need to start winning if they’re going to keep alive their slipping post-season hopes. These next three games against struggling teams (Minnesota, Tampa Bay and Philadelphia) give the Bears an opportunity to get back into the division race. They need all three games (with the Packers and Lions losing a game or two) to be able to keep pace.
I say look for a defensive rebound against the Vikings. The Bears have literally been embarrassed defensively the last few weeks. The team has already hinted at shaking things up in the defensive secondary, but I think we’ll see inspired performances from Urlacher and Briggs. These two warriors are too proud to continue to look bad.
Offensively, the Bears will have their work cut out for them. The Vikings have a decent run defense, and the Bears need to be able to run the ball to keep pressure off of Cutler and the passing game. However, the Vikings are weak on pass defense (26th in the league), so this might be an opportunity for the Bears to do something through the air. But bad pass defense or not, the Bears OL will simply need to pass block better. There are going to be changes on the right side of the Bears’ OL, but I’m not confident it’s going to make all that much of a difference.
My Prediction: Bears 28, Vikings 16