Week 15 Preview: Bears @ Vikings
The Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings will meet for the 100th time tonight at TCF Bank Stadium in Minnesota. The Vikings lead the all-time series 52-45-2. The Bears beat the Vikings 27-13 back in week nine.
1981 was the last year the Vikings played a game outdoors. The Vikings are a dome team and they are complaining about the field conditions just as much as the Bears players.
Vikings punter Chris Kluwe had this to say about the game:
“I find it interesting that the NFL can claim an emphasis on player safety and then tell us the field is fine. It’s beyond hypocritical,” Kluwe said.
You listen to what Kluwe said and you think why would any of these players want to play in these conditions, especially injured QB Brett Favre. Brett Favre was ruled out earlier in the week and rookie QB Joe Webb was ready to start, but now Favre has been upgraded to questionable and will come out to the field two hours before the game to see if he can give it a go.
Favre wants to play badly because this could be his last home game of his career and why wouldn’t he want to play on Monday Night Football one last time.
As we all know the Bears got crushed by the Patriots last week in the snow at Soldier Field. Last night the Patriots barely got by the Matt Flynn led Packers. So, the Bears travel to Minnesota to play a second straight snow game. Temperatures are expected to be in the single digits, with a wind chill in the negatives. Six inches of snow is also expected throughout the game.
The Bears need to get back to basics on offense because this three game stretch is more important than anything. If they can defeat the Vikings tonight they can clinch the NFC North, but the final two games against the NY Jets and Green Bay Packers are important as well.
No one on defense had a good game last week. Urlacher, Briggs, Idonije and Tillman all struggled. The Patriots made them look silly. The Bears need to get pressure on the QB, Webb or Favre. Adrian Peterson will be a key to the Vikings game-plan and the Bears know that. The Bears stopped Peterson in the week nine match-up and Peterson is questionable for this game, so the Bears might be able to shut him down.
Pisa Tinoisamoa is out for this game, so Nick Roach will start in his place once again.
Matt Forte and Chester Taylor will be keys to the game because throws might be hard to make in the windy temperatures in Minnesota. Jay Cutler needs to get his tight end Greg Olsen in the game. Earl Bennett and Johnny Knox will be looked at to make big plays as well.
Devin Hester will be a weapon on special teams, he was a beast against the Vikings in the week nine match-up.
Players Who Will Step Up:
1) Brian Urlacher- He knows he needs to step up in the big game. The Bears want to win the division tonight and Urlacher has to play well.
Prediction: 11 tackles, one interception.
2) Tommie Harris- He is back as a starter and he is likely gone after this season, so he wants to play big tonight. Look for him to be all over the field.
Prediction: 5 tackles, one sack.
3) Greg Olsen- He needs to be a big part of the offense because he is really good when he gets the ball. Look for him to find his way into the endzone tonight.
Prediction: 5 catches, 54 yards, one touchdown
Bears 28, Vikings 14.
You can find weather conditions for tonight’s game here.
all quotes from foxsports.com| Brett Favre, Brian Urlacher, Chicago Bears, MNF, NFC North, NFL, tcf bank stadium, Vikings, week 15