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FrontRowTickets.com Game Preview: Vikings Make First Visit to the City of Chicago

| October 30th, 2015

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The Game Poem

“I don’t know what to expect from the Bears on Sunday, but I wouldn’t be surprised if something crazy happened. Something ridiculous that you just can’t believe. And, if it does, I’ll know why.

Goodbye Dad. I love you. Go Bears.”

-From Andrew Dannehy’s farewell to his father. Better than anything I could invent.

Three Actual Quick Thoughts

  • What the hell is Teddy Bridgewater? He doesn’t do anything particular well. He doesn’t do anything particularly poorly. He completes a high percentage of his passes but not for a particularly high amount of yards. Is he getting better? I have no idea. Because oddly enough, tape study doesn’t teach you much about Bridgewater. He’s just there.
  • Stefon Diggs is emerging as a star in the Vikings offense and his speed should frighten the Bears. He’s averaging more than 18 yards per catch the last two weeks. I’d expect Norv Turner to dial up a lot of play action and take shots against this Bears secondary down the field. (If he does, it will work.)
  • Adrian Peterson is averaging 4.4 yards per carry but he has a 75 yarder already. If you remove that run he’s averaging only 3.8 yards per carry on 119 carries. His return season is being exaggerated. Bears don’t need to shut him down. They need to limit the big runs.

Irish Video of the Week

Turn Off the Play Clock!

Remember a year ago? From Matt Vessel in the StarTribune:

With 2:03 left, the Vikings took possession of the ball. They trailed by eight points, 21-13, with no timeouts and 66 yards to cover to get to the end zone.

Bridgewater didn’t have a clock to look at. The referee announced the time remaining after each play.

“That was the first time I ever experienced anything like that,” Bridgewater said today. “I think we could have handled the situation a little better. When you’re not aware of how much time is left on the clock when you’re down on the playing field, it forces you to make some decisions that you probably wouldn’t have made if you were aware of the game clock or the play clock. I hope it doesn’t happen again this year.”

Bridgewater ended up throwing an interception in part because he thought it might be the final play of the game.

As coach Mike Zimmer has continually reminded them this week, the Vikings haven’t won at Chicago since 2007.

“They have a great crowd,” Bridgewater said of the Bears. “We have to play the way we play at home on the road. If we do that, I think we have a pretty good chance of going in there and just quieting the crowd.”

One of My Favorite Plays I Saw Live

Bears. Vikings. 2009.

Statistics of Note

  • Teddy Bridgewater has thrown 7 more passes than Jay Cutler. But he’s played a game and a half more.
  • Adrian Peterson is the only back in the top 20 in the league in rushing with 3 or more fumbles through the early part of the season.
  • Peanut Doesn’t Live Here Anymore. The Bears have only forced one fumble through six games. Shouldn’t have to tell you that’s the league’s lowest number.
  • Neither Chicago nor Minnesota have a receiver in the top 47. Diggs’ 324 yards come in at 48th in the league. (On the Bears side a lot of this has to do with injury…but it’s still jarring.)
  • Bears have passed for 225 yards per game through 6 games. This includes a 63-yard masterpiece from James Clausen. Take that game out and the Bears are at 258.2 per game, 10th in the NFL. Minnesota is 30th at 197.2.

Watch Out For Eric Kendricks

Kendricks is an inside linebacker and one of those players in the draft who fell into the second round for no particular reason other than there’s far too much time between the college football season and the player selections. (And teams just aren’t that smart.) Look at his numbers from the inside over the last three games:

Screen Shot 2015-10-28 at 3.05.17 PM

4 sacks. In 3 games. That’s an inside linebacker with instincts. The interior of the Bears line will be tested.

Three Bears of Intrigue

  • Hroniss Grasu. (See: Watch Out for Eric Kendricks)
  • Adrian Amos. When Adrian Peterson gets 7 yards, Amos needs to bring him to the ground. And it would be nice to see Amos land one of those big hits on Peterson that make it difficult for him to leap to his feet and sprint back into the huddle. The Bears have frequently been out-muscled by Peterson. Amos is the first hard-hitting safety they’ve featured in some time.
  • Martellus Bennett. Eric Ebron and Travis Kelce had tons of success on the Vikings defense over the last two games, primarily because Mike Zimmer coaches his linebackers to be aggressive, attacking players. The way to counter that aggression is by getting the ball out of the quarterback’s hand quickly and Bennett in the middle of the field is the most plausible option.

Game Prediction

This has all the makings of a real bore. Two teams that want to run, run, run and rain in the forecast. Cutler makes one or two more plays than Bridgewater late and that’s the difference.

Chicago Bears 23, Minnesota Vikings 20 

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