The Chicago Bears have a chance to open the 2013 season with a 2-0 record when they host the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field.
Chicago showed some serious pluck against AFC North powerhouse Cincinnati in Week 1. The Bengals had a 21-10 lead midway through the third quarter, and the Bears responded with two unanswered touchdowns—one late in the third quarter and one in the fourth.
Week 1 wasn't kind to the Vikings. Despite the fact that Adrian Peterson took the opening play of the game 78 yards for a touchdown, Minnesota lost to Detroit 34-24.
Peterson finished with 93 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, as his offensive line played poorly the rest of the game.
Unfortunately, Christian Ponder was miserable—more on that later.
Here's a quick peek at when and where you can catch the action.
When: Sunday, Sept. 15, at 1 p.m. ET
Where: Soldier Field, Chicago, Ill.
Live Stream: NFL Sunday Ticket
Betting Lines (via Bovada)
- Over/Under: 42 pts.
- Spread: Chicago (-6)
Vikings Injury Report (via NFL.com)
Bears Injury Report (via NFL.com)
Will Ponder Bounce Back Against Chicago?
Christian Ponder also played poorly last week—and that's putting it nicely.
Showing the same propensity to turn the ball over as he did throughout most of his sophomore campaign, the third-year quarterback opened the season with four turnovers—three interceptions and one lost fumble.
His job won't get any easier against the Bears.
Will Ponder bounce back or have another bad game?
Charles Tillman intercepted two Andy Dalton passes in Week 1, and Chicago's defense will pounce on any mistake Ponder makes on Sunday at Soldier Field.
Given the weapons the Vikings have invested in this past offseason (Greg Jennings, Cordarrelle Patterson), the former first-round pick has no reason not to thrive this year. Combined with tight end Kyle Rudolph and Peterson, Minnesota has the talent to become an explosive offense.
Unfortunately, to this point in his career, Ponder doesn't look like a franchise quarterback. A big game against the Bears would do much to improve that perception.
It feels like Cutler is starting to find his happy place in Marc Trestman's new offense.
The way he started playing at the end of the game against the Bengals reminded me of his final year in Denver, and if Matt Forte can get going we will likely see a blowout.
Which team will win?
Minnesota's defense struggled badly against the Lions, allowing 28 first downs and 469 yards.
Ponder is going to get thrashed again on Sunday at Soldier Field. Adrian Peterson might have a huge game on the ground, but he can't do it all, and it won't be enough to win the game.
Bears win 38-20
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