We’re 24 hours away from re-opening the season on Bears. Cutler & Co. are coming in to town with their eyes on spoiling Minnesota’s hopes of a Division title, while bolstering what little credibility they have going for themselves this season, having made a decent showing over the past 5 weeks after a dismal start.
The Vikings hold their fate in their own hands – winning out will give them their first division title since 2009. Minnesota is nearly a lock for the playoffs via Wild Card, however I have a hard time believing that the title isn’t on the mind of every player on the team. It all starts with the next game, however, which features a team we’ve already beaten on their own turf.
The Bears team we face tomorrow is significantly improved, and will prove to be a challenge as all divisional games are. Minnesota’s tough defense will again be without major players, with Barr, Smith, and Crichton declared out, Joseph and Griffen could be game-time decisions. The Vikings do get Blanton, Watts and Sendejo back, someone just needs to remind him to hurt the people in black/white, not purple/white.
Perhaps more hopeful for the team was the effort put forth by fill-ins Ant Harris and Shaun Prater last Thursday at Arizona, helping the Vikings to hold a high-scoring Cardinal offense to only 23 points.
With the Viking defense still on the mend, fans are hoping to see more success by our young QB. The game plan was tweaked to take more advantage of Bridgewater’s strengths last week, and Teddy had his best game, albeit a loss. RB Adrian Peterson has had good success running against the Bears in the past, and as always will be relied upon to wear them down and put up points. He should have rested legs after a mini-bye.
This season, home-field advantage has not proved to be all that advantageous, and tomorrow holds no guarantees. The Vikings’ defense will need to contain a 1-2 punch running out of the backfield, shut down the always-dangerous Alshonn Jefferey, and put some hits on Cutler. The offense will have to continue dialing up plays that get the ball out quickly, occasionally stretching the field. Peterson will need to rip through the line and punish the Bears’ defense.
The NFC North title is within our grasp, but it all starts with one game. I like our chances, and besides, it’s December – time to put the bears to bed. SKOL VIKES!!!!!!!!!!!!