Chicago Bears: 5 Players Who Must Step Up Against the Minnesota Vikings
I guess I could just put the entire Bears roster as one slide, but that would be too simple, even though the entire team does need to step up.
The Bears are going to be one of those roller coaster teams all season long, they will have a big win, which will be followed by an embarrassing loss.
I do not see the Vikings giving the Bears much trouble this week at Soldier Field, but there are several players that will have to step up for my prediction of an easy win to be correct.
The Bears are favored by 1.5 points, and they will easily cover and beat that spread.
Here are five players that need to step up this week and have great games for the Chicago Bears.
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Okay, I have to generalize for this one slide, otherwise all five of my players who need to step up would just be the offensive line.
The offensive line has given up 18 sacks this season, and is on pace for 57. The bright side is they only gave up three sacks last week.
But honestly that was more of a testament to Jay Cutler's ability to avoid contact in the pocket and make plays.
This offensive line is just terrible, there is no debating that, but they do have the ability to pull together and play okay football.
Martz said this week he is going to design plays to get the ball out of Cutler's hands quicker so we will see if that helps. Although, the Bears should just go into shotgun formation on every play just to give Cutler a chance at seeing the field.
I expected Minnesota Vikings' Jared Allen to get at Cutler, but hopefully the line can keep him from getting concussed.
Chris Conte and Major Wright
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Rookie Chris Conte and second year player Major Wright will be stepping into starting rolls this week to replace Chirs Harris and Brandon Meriweather at safeties.
I have mixed feelings about this roster change-up. I understand why they have elected to bench Harris and Meriweather. They have both played terrible defense, and they want to give Conte and Wright a chance to improve the secondary.
On the other hand, the benching does not really seem fair because the entire Bears defense has played beyond poorly this season.
This is a bit of a risky move, but the Bears don't really have anything to lose, and if Conte and Wright step up the coaching staff will look like geniuses.
Henry Melton and Israel Idonije
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The Bears most talented defensive linemen, Julius Peppers, is doubtful for Sunday night's game vs. the Vikings, and the Bears should be prepared to play without him.
That means that Israel Idonije and Henry Melton are going to have to step it up. Melton is leading the team with three sacks, and Idonije is tied with Peppers with two.
I would expect Corey Wooten to take over Peppers' position this weekend, but Melton and Idonije will have the pressure on them.
If the Bears can establish a pass rush early and shut down Donovan McNabb (which shouldn't be to hard based off his play this season) then this Bears defense might begin to come out of the hibernation they have been in to start the season.
The defense starts with the line, so let's hope they can get some upfront pressure.
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Johnny Knox is the best receiver on the Bears. That is not saying much, but he needs to get himself open and make plays.
Knox was the Bears No. 1 receiver last year, but for whatever reason they have decided to bench him this year. So I do not blame him for only have 14 receptions thus far.
Even in limited action he still has 18.1 yards per reception, which is 3.8 yards better than the next best Bear receiver.
Knox does tend to get Cutler into a lot of trouble because he fails to knock any balls down that are not thrown perfectly at him, but he is deep threat on the outside and can create great YAC.
Roy E. Williams, who took Knox's starting gig, has been just awful this season, and Knox will fully reclaim his job if he can have a big game against the Vikings.
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Matt Forte has been unreal this season.
He has rushed for 5.4 yards per carry. Racking up 440 yards on the ground, and is leading the Bears in receptions and receiving yards.
The Bears would be 0-5 without Matt Forte, and needs to keep up his unbelievable play for the Bears to win.
It is unfair of the Bears to continue to ask Matt Forte to carry this team on his shoulders, that must be a lot of pressure every week, but the simple fact is he has to.
Forte is a top 10 running back in the NFL, and he does not have the luxury of having an off week; he will have to step up once again this week.
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