Keys Matchup: Bears Wide Receivers Against The Vikings Secondary
The receiving core has combined for 752 yards on 57 receptions through five games this season. Johnny Knox, the third-year receiver leads the unit with 14 receptions for 254 yards
RB Matt Forte has more than half the amount of receptions (30) and almost half the amount of receiving yards (345) than all the Bears receivers this season.
Last week against the Lions, the Bears number five and number six receiver (Sam Hurd and Dane Sanzenbacher) respectably led the team in receiving yards.
Luckily, the Bears will be facing a Minnesota Vikings team that isn’t very good in pass coverage.
Minnesota ranks 25th in the NFL in pass defense, allowing opposing quarterbacks to throw for about 271 ypg and complete 63.8% of their passes. However, they’ve only allowed six touchdowns all season threw the air.
Bears receivers have had some success against the Vikings in the past. Johnny Knox has eight receptions for 192 yards and two touchdowns in four career games against Minnesota
In two games last season against the Vikings, Knox reeled in seven passes for 198 yards and one touchdown. He caught a 67 yard touchdown in a Week 15 win in Minnesota, which helped crown the Bears NFC North division champs.
Hester also ran back a 64 yard punt to break the all-time punt return record with his tenth record ever.
Also, former Cowboy Roy Williams caught three passes for 28 yards and two touchdowns in a Week Six meeting against Minnesota.
Matchup to Watch:
The Bears receivers versus the Vikings secondary is a matchup to watch.
With Antoine Winfield out for the Vikings, second-year corner Chris Cook will step in as the starter across from Cedric Griffin.
Johnny Knox, Dane Sanzenbacher and Roy Williams will be called upon to make big plays. Devin Hester could be a key weapon considering he had three touchdowns against the Vikings a season ago.
Unfortunately Earl Bennett hasn’t been cleared to play yet. It would be a big surprise to everyone if Bennett suited up Sunday night.
The Bears have a perfect situation to put up good numbers on offense, especially in the passing game.
Matt Forte is going to get his carries and his catches out of the backfield.
The Bears need to be able to contain the Vikings pass rush, which has been pretty good as of late. Defensive ends Jared Allen (9) and Brian Robison (5) have combined for 14 sacks on the season.
If Cutler can get time to throw out of the pocket, he could be in line for game through the air. He showed last week that he is a very talented quarterback despite having a very weak offensive line.
The Bears should take advantage of Winfield’s absence and help make Jay Cutler look good for once.