Vikings rookie starter Joe Webb was full of apparent confidence when asked by Sean Jensen at the Chicago Sun-Times about Bears defensive end Julius Peppers:
“When I asked him whether he ever has seen a defensive lineman as fast Julius Peppers, Webb said: “No, but has he seen anybody move like me from the quarterback position?”
Now that you mention it, probably yes, he has. But the point is well taken. The Bears task Monday will be halt the Vikings ground attack and they’ll likely do everything they need to stop that first.
Assuming the Bears are prepared to do that, the real question is whether Webb can make things happen with his arm. Given that he’s a raw rookie who the Vikings drafted as a wide receiver until Brad Childress decided to mold another lump of untapped potential into Tarvaris Jackson, I’d say that’s unlikely. But you never know.
Neil Hayes at the Chicago Sun-Times answers your questions:
“Q: Playing Monday’s game in the land of Harry Potter colors (maroon and gold), which team do you think would be a better cold weather team, the Slytherins or the Gryffindors? — Seedy Backslash.”
“A: Great question. I would’ve said the Bears until they played Sunday’s game against the Patriots as if they had rather been under an electric blanket. Obviously, the Vikings are a dome team. You would like to think the Bears would have the advantage in temperatures that are expected to be as low as minus-18. We’ll have to wait and see if that’s the case.”
They’re going to have the advantage. The Bears’ problems last week were with the slick, snow-covered surface, not with the cold. With any luck there won’t be any snow during the game, itself, and the surface at the University of Minnesota will be more clear of it.
But even if its not, the Vikings have nothing to play for in freezing temperatures. I can’t believe once they get out into it that an of them will want to be there. The Bears just need to minimize distractions from the task at hand. If they quit worrying about the state of the field and concentrate on the game, they should have the advantage.