The Vikings boast a stiff defensive line that elevates the entire defensive squad. Minnesota is going to get pressure on your quarterback so don’t bother trying to stop it; instead try to counter it with quick passes and misdirection.
The middle of the Vikings defense is anchored by the Williams Wall, Kevin Williams, and Pat Williams, all of whom are stout against the run and surprisingly fast early in games.
Misdirection can wear the Vikings out. The Bears may gas them out early with stretch plays and open up opportunities later in the game. Utilizing a no-huddle is an easy way to prohibit the Vikings from making defensive substitutions and tiring their big men early.
Brett Favre is playing disciplined ball and with the help of Adrian Peterson, he doesn’t have to shoulder the offensive load and force passes into tight spots. Farve still shows some of that old magic when he’s called upon, but he has always been most dangerous when he eases off the trigger and takes what the defense gives him.
Favre has a plethora of young talent that the Bears will have a hard time covering. Chicago cannot allow Favre to sit in the pocket to pick and choose which young player he wants to throw to next.
Chicago has never been able to stop Adrian Peterson, and I don’t see any way they will this season without Urlacher. Peterson seems to have a pattern of pounding inside the tackles for the first half or so and then start hitting the cut back lanes in the second half.
Regardless of how the Bears plan to attack Peterson, the defense will have to be quick to tackle him if they hope to limit his yards and scores. The Bears have to find some consistency on both sides of the ball not only for pride this season, but to have confidence going into next season.
Players to Watch
Orlando Pace: The Viking defensive ends are fast and physical. Whether it's Ray Edwards or Jared Allen, Pace and Chris Williams will need all the help they can get keeping them in check. The Bear running backs will have to chip block them to take the pressure off Jay Cutler.
Brett Favre: Lovie Smith has a good record against Favre, but without Brian Urlacher in the middle Favre will have free reign to expose the center of the field. Favre has shown discipline and patience this season and has distributed the ball freely to his young receivers. If the Bears allow Favre to get in a rhythm the game will be over in the first half.
Charles Tillman: Peanut looks to be feeling good and has been forcing fumbles left and right. If the young Viking players like Harvin and Rice aren’t careful, Tillman can help shake their confidence.
Key to the Game: Pass rush. The Bears cannot stop Adrian Peterson, so the next best thing is put pressure on Favre and make him force the ball into coverage.