- The Bears played 8 in the box (at least) on first down. It looked like a good move. Stop Adrian Peterson and make the rest of the team beat you.
- Nice job Stephen Paea on the McNabb safety. He was helped by a neat little stunt that fooled the Viking offensive line.
- The Bears tackling was good tonight. It needed to be with Peterson running the ball.
- The Bears got a fair bit of pressure when they blitzed. The pressure was more sporatic when it was the four man rush but it was there. Some of the Bears pressure came on some clever stunts. For instance, it seemed that Julius Peppers had good success stunting up the middle.
- Speaking of Peppers, considering the fact that he was playing on a bad knee, I thought he had a good game. He seemed to get fair pressure on McNabb and, of course, sacked him.
- I see that Donovan McNabb is still throwing bounce passes to his receivers. He looked better in the second half but it was too little too late. By the time they got to midway through the third quarter, the Vikings had to throw and the Bears defensive linemen were laying back their ears and strictly rushing the passer.
- I thought the Vikings started to get their feet underneath them at the end of the first half. The Bears were so committed to Peterson that the Vikings had an easy time of it passing against them.
- Hard to say much about Chirstian Ponder. I’d say he was up and down. He was certainly more mobile than I thought he’d be. He’s got a real quick release. But I don’t think you start him unless you’ve really officially given up on the season (i.e. nine losses).
- The Vikings are also stacking the box but thats with the Bears having running personnel and lots of guys in to protect Jay Cutler.
- I’m really surprised that Cutler found Devin Hester open on the first touchdown. There should have been plenty of guys there to cover and, indeed, he looked like he was double covered. I can only conclude that there was some really poor coverage on that play.
- Cutler was hanging better in the pocket this week. Probably all of the extra protection gave him more confidence.
- You might qualify the pass protection because the offensive line got lots of help tonight but I think everyone would say that they did a good job of run blocking, as well. Here’s hoping they can start doing that on the road.
- I thought offensive coordinator Mike Martz took better advantage of the running game this week by calling more play action.
- No complaints about the wide receivers tonight (though see the dropped passes comment below). For the most part I thought they really went out and fought for the ball tonight.
- I would agree with color man Cris Collinsworth that Lance Louis did a fine job stablizing the right tackle position tonight. I can see why offensive line coach Mike Tice likes him. I also liked that they highlighted the play of Chris Williams who has quietly done a decent job for most of the season. Really as good or better than anyone other than Roberto Garza.
- Al Michaels, Michele Tafoya and Collinsworth were professional. I hate night games as a rule but at least having the best quality announcers helps.
- There were plenty of dropped passes tonight. There were two dropped passes for the Vikings on the first two third downs. That’s brutal. There was a bad drop by Hester at the end of the first half. There was another one by Dane Sanzenbacker near the goal line in the third quarter. Matt Spaeth dropped a touchdown. Those have to be cleaned up.
- There were still too many penalties tonight. There was an illegal formation call in the first half. There were more false starts. It’s really hard to move the ball running it when you are starting first and 15.
- I wouldn’t say that turnovers were a problem but there was the bad Cutler fumble at the beginning of the first half that led to a Viking touchdown. There were a few near interceptions and that fumble by Tyler
ClutzClutts in the first quarter looked like it should have been Viking ball to me.
- Good special teams play tonight by the Bears. The Hester touchdown was particularly good because it came after the Vikings cut through the Bears defense like a hot knife through butter for a touchdown.
- I love to watch Sam Hurd play ball. The guy gives it everything he’s got and he just seems to genuinely enjoy every minute.
- Nice work by the offensive line tonight and it made all the difference. But the real test is on the road and that’s where they need to perform if they want to impress me. You could say the same thing about the whole team. There were a lot of mistakes that didn’t didn’t burn the Bears because they were playing a Vikings team that had a bad night. But there were plenty of dropped passes and penalties. Make those near interceptions into real ones and you’ve got a problem when you’re playing good teams. I can’t complain on a night when they win convincingly like this but the Bears better keep working to clean this stuff up.