Or Maybe Not
Sometimes it's really hard to tell when a team is walking into a potential disaster, however, playing the Bears shouldn't be. Months ago I was screaming from the rooftops that the Vikings should have traded for Jay Cutler ensuring a string of 12 and 13-win seasons for the next eight to 10 years. Instead, Minnesota ignored my expert advice and coaxed Brett Favre out of retirement. With last week's dismantling of the injured and rebuilding Seahawks, they have firmly established themselves as the most complete and balanced team in football. Don't believe the hype coming out of New Orleans and Indy, the Vikings are loaded at every position and save for two incredibly lucky turnovers in Pittsburgh, have outplayed and outclassed by leaps an bounds every one of their opponents. They are the best tea in the NFL, and with Favre leading the best all-around offense in football (sorry New Orleans), he should be the league's MVP because even though the Colts would have three wins without Manning, Favre is doing it at 40. Sorry, Peyton, the greay beard should get it this year.
Anyways, this week should be no different for the Vikes since the Bears are skidding past mediocrity and heading straight to the outhouse. Cutler has overthrown a few receivers and has almost no supporting cast, so in spite of village idiots like Melissa Isaacson taking the popular view that Cutler is basically a failure, he's still dangerous even though two weeks before blamed the team's failure on the defense. My read is that his problems have been more the result of his having to do too much as opposed to too little. When you “best” receiver is a converted corner because you have basically no one else, you're in trouble. I figured Cutler would be able to lift the Bears to 13 wins because of their incredible defense and his being able to find a few more open guys than Kyle Orton. However, they suck because, let's face it, they lost their best defensive player and quickly went down the tubes. Seriously, losing Brian Urlacher has been far more of a negative influence on them than Cutler because ever since Urlacher went down, the whole load has been put on Cutler who has less personnel to work with than Elway did in 1985. Just be patient, Chicago fans, when you get healthy on defense and get some receivers, just see what happens and don't listen to your sports columnists. They are dumb.
As for the Vikings, they seem to get more confident every week. Not cocky, but sure of themselves. Last week against Seattle, Tavaris Jackson was taking snaps in the third quarter, so it's safe to say the Vikings do not play down to the level of their competition. This week will be no different. Jared Allen is going to be facing off against Orlando Pace, who is a first ballot Hall of Famer, but is nowhere near the player he was with the Rams meaning that Cutler is going to have tons of pressure on his blindside thus putting him on his backside more often than not.
If the Vikings stay true to form, Brad Childress and Favre will be working a balanced attack that the Bears will have a ton of problems matching up with. Minnesota's receivers are not only fast, but they're incredibly skilled and have built a quick rapport with Favre which has resulted in an astounding 21 touchdowns through the air. This is not an accident, and when you factor in Adrian Peterson having 999 yards and 11 touchdowns on the ground, it's not hard to see why these guys have been virtually unstoppable. The Vikings don't run trick plays and don't rely on simply getting a linebacker out of position, they do what has worked for winning teams for the last 50 years: Dictate the tempo, keep the defense guessing, exploit their strengths by creating as many options for themselves as possible, and consistently executing. To stop the Vikings right now you have to be at your best and play a disciplined brand of football, something the Bears are far from doing meaning the Vikings will win by probably two touchdowns.
About the Author
Written by Sean Neumann