Quick Game Comments: Bears at Vikings

Defense

  1. The Bears packed the box to stop Adrian Peterson. It didn’t matter much as, once again, they got pushed around on occasion up front, especially early on. The first touchdown was far too easy for the Vikings.
  2. The Vikings did a nice job of using misdirection to take advantage of the Bears aggressive defense. This has always been their weakness but perhaps never more so than early this game.
  3. The Vikings also occasinally took good advantage of the play action passing that Ardian Peterson sets up on the run game.
  4. On a related note, quarterback Christian Ponder had a reasonable today. Like the last game against the Bears, there were few poor decisions and he was pretty accurate.
  5. In fairness to the Bears defense, though they started poorly they tightened things up in the second quarter. The Bear defense made plays and got them off the field in a reasonable manner from that point on.
  6. Lets not forget to mention that the Bear defense got a lot of help from the Vikings as they continually shot themselves in the foot with things like dumb penalties.

Offense

  1. The Vikings obviously didn’t respect the Bears run the same way the Bears respected thiers. They came out with a standard seven in box and never really did anything special to stop it.
  2. Jay Cutler was under plenty of pressure as guys were coming almost unblocked on occasion. This put him in a bit of a bind as the Vikings coverage was mostly better than usual.
  3. The Bears running game struggled on occasion as the offensive line got pushed around again. They were allowing plenty of penetration. The trap plays that were working earlier in the season aren’t working as well anymore as almost everyone has seen it many times on film.
  4. Despite the last comment, I have to say it isn’t like the Vikings were contantly stopping the Bears cold on the run. The Bears did have occasional success as Matt Forte made the most with what he was given, made a lot of yards on his own and had a nice little game individually. The Vikings helped him out by tackling poorly in spots.
  5. Speaking of Forte, I like to see it when the Bears use him as more than a dump off option in the passing game. I’ve said this before but he’s a good receiver and he usually ends up with a linebacker on him.
  6. Once again, Alshon Jeffery flashed his potential today. If he wasn’t always open, it seemed like he was at least getting marginal separation most of the time. Hard not to like his future.
  7. Brandon Marshall and Jay Cutler are unbelievable. I can’t remember enjoying watching two Bears play as much as these two for most of this season. Certainly not on offense. Marshall was being triple teamed and making catches. I see it every week and I never cease to be amazed. I’ve never seen anything like it.
  8. Anyone else’s heart stop when Cutler was seen trying to make the tackle on the intereceptions in the first quarter and third quarters?
  9. Interesting decision to replace Edwin Williams with James Brown at left guard. I’ll be interested to find out what the reason was.

Miscellaneous

  1. Once again the Bears got one of the best of the NFL announcing teams as they drew Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa.
    Johnston was spot on all game as he, for example, pointed out early on that the Bears weren’t matching the Vikings intensity. Siragusa correctly pointed out that the major problem with the Bears running game was that the there was no push on the inside. Both hit the key points all game. Sorry, haters. Nothing bad to say here.
  2. Marshall dropped a big first down. Alshon Jeffery and Devin Hester both dropped touchdowns. Those would have been huge plays that would have been a big difference.
  3. the Bears had more than their fair share of penalties and they need to clean it up a bit. But what struck me was how the Vikings kept helping the Bears out by constantly shooting themselves in the foot with stupid penalties. After a nice start to this game, there seemed to be times when they were doing everything they could to give the game away.
  4. The Bears missed Robbie Gould as Adam Podlesh kickoffs were shorter than usual. I thought the Bears return teams were really poor early on. They left the Bears pinned back in poor field position.
  5. The Bears had a fumble they got back. Ponder threw a harmless intereception at the end of the first half. But Cutler’s interceptions were obviously the most damaging as this would have been a different game without the two Viking touchdowns that resulted.
  6. There was lots of slipping and sliding around my both teams today. You would think the footing in a dome on artificial turf wouldn’t be a problem. But something looked like it was wrong.
  7. Obviously this game came down to the interceptions that resulted in two Viking scores combined with good Viking defense and the Bears inability to score on offense. The dropped balls by Jeffery and Hester in the second half were imporant. Those are the big plays the Bears offense is lacking.But nothing really bothered me more this game than the difference in intensity between the two teams in the first quarter. The Vikings came out like a team fighting to stay in the playoff hunt. The Bears definitely didn’t.

    Judging from the comments of players and head coach Lovie Smith last week, I’d say Smith spent his time reminding this team that they were still 8-4. Maybe its time to instill a little urgency instead.

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