Vikings On Offense
The Vikings face a tough test this week against a beastly Bears defense at Soldier Field.
On the plus side, the Vikings have had year of seeing Kahlil Mack in their division and therefore have plenty of tape to inform their game plan against him. On the downside, he’s Kahlil Mack.
And they’ve got Akiem Hicks and Roquan Smith and Leonard Floyd.
We expected the Raiders to take the play-action pass away from Kirk Cousins and force the Vikings to beat them on the ground, as the Packers had.
Obviously, the Raiders did not do that, perhaps because they couldn’t. The Bears can do that, so I wouldn’t be surprised if that were the approach they take against the Vikings.
Pete Bercich looks at how the Bears might try to shut the Vikings offense down. I’ve jumped ahead to where Bercich starts his analysis to spare you the insufferable Paul Allen‘s introduction.
On the plus side is the Vikings are not the Broncos nor are they Washington, the two teams the Bears have beaten this season. Neither team has yet won a game. It took a last second field goal to beat Denver and Case Keenum himself turned the ball over five times last week.
The Vikings have a much better offense than either of those teams, it looks like the offensive line has improved run-blocking with the zone blocking scheme working, and we have the best running back in the league who doesn’t need a lot of room to make plays.
I would expect the Vikings to try and establish the running game and to stick with it even if it doesn’t work and couple that with quick passes.
Vikings On Defense
This is a much more favorable matchup for the Vikings defense.
The Bears may be without right tackle Bobby Massie. Leading rusher David Montgomery has 147 yards on 37 carries. And quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is averaging 193 yards per game, hardly dominant, and he has thrown two interceptions and taken eight sacks.
Beyond the stats, though, I’ve watched all or parts of every Bears game this year and what I’ve seen of Trubisky is mostly inaccuracy.
I think the Vikings have to put the game in Trubisky’s hands by shutting down the run, forcing third-and-longs, and make him throw accurate deep passes under pressure. I think that’s the best way to force turnovers.
The Bears are coming off a short week and are a bit banged up with defensive tackles Akiem Hicks and Bilal Nichols, wide receiver Taylor Gabriel and kicker Eddy Pineiro missing practice on Wednesday.
Ultimately, I expect this will be a very close game that the Vikings have a chance to win in a tough environment.