Game Preview: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears - FOX 35 News Orlando

Game Preview: Vikings at Bears

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

FOX Chicago Sports' Tom Waddle previews Sunday's matchup between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings.

Offense

The names on the backs of the jerseys lead one to believe the Chicago Bears offense will be productive. Through 10 games, there is little evidence of progress. With Jay Cutler, Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte, and others, there is potential. Because of the mess up front, I have seen very little improvement. If you can't block you can't win. The Bears offensive line is a disaster, allowing 34 sacks. Only the Arizona Cardinals have been more inept.

As for the Vikings, they are led by the medical miracle that is Adrian Peterson. Less than a year after knee reconstruction, he leads the NFL with over 1,100 yards rushing, gaining 5.8 yards per clip. Also encouraging has been the play of Percy Harvin on the edge. It isn't all blue skies and sunshine for the Vikings, as Christian Ponder has been inconsistent at best.

With Harvin banged up and Ponder unreliable, the offense is a push.

Defense

Brian Urlacher and the fellas probably didn't bother watching the tape of the disaster in San Francisco. There isn't anything to be learned from reliving their worst performance of the year. While it's unrealistic to expect this group to continue forcing multiple turnovers on a weekly basis, they have to be better at every level and not look for the big play to bail them out. They also need to rediscover their pass rush.

Speaking of that, the Vikings will get after your quarterback. They've sacked 26 QB's with Jared Allen leading the way with 7 takedowns. Chad Greenway is playing at a Pro Bowl level on the strong side. Veteran Antoine Winfield is a ball hawk in his 14th year. As a group, they are solid, not great. As for our guys everyone is allowed a bad day.

The Bears get the edge on defense.

Special Teams

This may come as a surprise, but Dave Toub's guys aren't playing at their customary high level. On the other side, Blair Walsh is 23 of 24 on FG attempts and Harvin and Marcus Sherels both have returns for touchdowns.

The Vikings get the edge on special teams.

Intangibles

After the performance in the Bay Area, it's hard to sell you hope. But the truth is, the Bears got their cans kicked by a very good 49ers team in their building, and ultimately, it only counts for one loss. Yes, there are concerns. They have not answered the bell when they step up in class. At 6-4, the Vikings are a much improved team, but they don't present the same challenge the Bears faced Monday night. That disaster should serve as a much needed reality check. Having Jay back should also provide a significant lift. As we have discussed in the past, step one towards a championship season is beating the teams you are supposed to beat. The Vikings are another one of those teams. The good guys bounce back in front of the home crowd.

Prediction

Bears 23, Vikings 20

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