Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings Preview

Jay Cutler and Jason Campbell

There is no denying the importance of this game to the Chicago Bears.  If Jay Cutler is unable to play and the Bears lose to the Vikings, it will be cause for panic in Chicago.

Just a few weeks ago, the Bears were cruising along and looking forward to a possible bye in the playoffs.  Now the Bears find themselves in second place in the NFC North with the health of their starting quarterback in question.  Bears fans are starting to fear that this season will be a repeat of last year, when they had a promising start, only to have injuries derail their season.

The challenge for the Chicago Bears defense will be stopping MVP candidate Adrian Peterson.  The Bears defense struggled last week stopping the 49ers ground attack led by Frank Gore.  Adrian Peterson is an even more explosive runner than Gore, which means the Bears will have to be disciplined and make open field tackles if they hope to limit Peterson’s productivity.

This game against the Vikings will be a good indication of whether or not the Bears will be able to come back from the adversity they have been facing.  The Bears ability to get a win on Sunday will come down to the play of the offense.

Jay Cutler’s status for the game is still questionable, so Bears fans have to have themselves prepared for the possibility of Jason Campbell being the starting quarterback for the second straight week.  This is a bitter thought for Bears fans as Campbell did not perform particularly well against the 49ers last week.  However, his poor performance was due in large part to the atrocious play of the offensive line.  The Bears are hoping that some recent changes to the offensive line will help the unit improve their play.

Mike Tice made the decision to replace starting guard Chilo Rachal as well as starting tackle Gabe Carimi following their sub par performances against the 49ers.  These changes will need to pay immediate dividends if the Bears hope to keep their quarterback upright against Jared Allen and the Minnesota pass rush.  If Chicago can’t fend off the Vikings pass rush long enough to establish some sort of consistent passing game, than it will be a long day for the Bears offense.

The keys to this game are the Chicago Bears ability to contain Adrian Peterson on the ground, and Chicago’s ability to give whoever is playing quarterback for them time to make all their reads and make throws down the field.  If the Bears are able to do both of these things, they should be able to stop their two game slide and come away with a win over Minnesota.