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

Game Preview: Bears at Vikings

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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

Jay Cutler to Brandon Marshall has been a joy to watch. If you were wondering what a dynamic passing combo should look like, look no further than No. 6 to No. 15. It's everything else around them that leaves you wanting more. With the injuries at wide receiver, a tight end must step up and give Jay another viable target. For a number of reasons, Matt Forte hasn't had a productive year. Getting him on track now is essential.

No worries at the running back position on the other sideline. Adrian Peterson continues to amaze, leading the league in rushing and is averaging a career best 6.2 yards per carry. Getting Percy Harvin back from injury would help. So would more consistent play from Christian Ponder.

Neither team is lighting up the scoreboard. The offense is a draw.

Defense

Last week wasn't Rod Marinelli's guys' proudest moment. Uncharacteristically, the Bear defense failed to force a number of turnovers and not only did they bend, but they broke late in the game. Injuries may limit the healthy bodies in their huddle Sunday, but a bounce back is essential. Fair or not, the defense is being asked to carry the heavy load on a weekly basis. AP may run for 300 if they don't tighten some things up this afternoon.

After a quick start, the Viking defense has been below average the last six weeks. Jared Allen will be a key figure Sunday. Not only do the Bears need to neutralize him, I'm sure several in the burnt orange and navy blue would love to exact a little revenge after his vicious hit on Lance Louis two weeks ago. I expect the Vikings to be better indoors on the fast surface, but they don't measure up.

The Bears get the edge on defense.

Special Teams

Robbie Gould did his part last week, nailing a 46 yard with time expiring to send the game into overtime. Nothing else real exciting to point out. The Vikings have their own reliable kicker in Blair Walsh and one of the leagues best return men in Percy Harvin, when healthy of course.

The Special Teams is a draw.

Intangibles

After the debacle in San Francisco, I told you all it was essential that the Bears win two of the next three games. After splitting with the Vikings and Seahawks, this one's pretty important. A must win? Not mathematically, but for the general psyche of this team and their standing in the playoff chase, it's very, very important.

Expect a better effort from the Vikings than the one we saw two weeks ago. They are 5-1 at home and play a faster, more explosive game in their own controlled environment. Their slim playoff chances will be put to rest with a loss Sunday so I expect a sense of urgency. I'm just not sure that's enough to the W. Despite dropping three of their last four and looking pedestrian in the process, the Bears are a better team than the Vikings. They have their own sense of urgency as they desperately need to turn things around. I think it happens.

Prediction

Bears 23, Vikings 20

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