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Posted By Sean Eckhardt On Nov 23 2012 @ 11:48 pm In Minnesota Vikings | 2 Comments

You can say what you want about Bears’s QB Jay Cutler; he’s selfish, he has a big mouth, he appeared to quit on his team in an NFC Championship Game, and in general the guy has said and done some questionable things during his NFL career.  Through the years I have heaped plenty of criticism on Cutler myself, however, one thing is certain; the Chicago Bears are a better team when Jay is their quarterback.  So as the Vikings prepare to play the Bears in Chicago on Sunday, the biggest key to them winning is actually out of their control.  Cutler hasn’t played since being concussed while playing against Houston a couple of weeks ago.  The Bears have looked shaky with Jason Campbell under center and have lost two straight after starting 7-1.  So will Cutler play?

As of late Friday night, Jay Cutler is listed as questionable by the Bears.  He was, however, cleared to return to practice mid-week and did participate with the team on Thursday.

So Minnesota finds themselves in a weird situation.  They are coming off of their bye week, which would normally give the team extra time to prepare, but in this case the they are not sure who they are preparing for.  The Vikings’ offense doesn’t have to worry about who is quarterbacking the Bears, so the biggest question facing them is whether or not WR Percy Harvin will be able to play.  He is listed as questionable with an ankle injury.  One guy who is definitely not a question mark is Adrian Peterson.  Chicago can expect to see the ball in his hands early and often.  AP has had over 100 yards rushing in each of his last four games.  It marks the first time he has done that since 2008.  I suspect that as long as Christian Ponder and the passing game can supply a little balance to the offense, Peterson will extend his current streak to five games.

The Minnesota defense may not be sure which QB they will be attacking, but with either guy the game plan will be the same.  Pressure and hit the quarterback.  Chicago’s offensive line has had problems protecting the QB during the last two seasons, and the Vikings have guys like Jared Allen that cause chaos when they are facing elite offensive lines.  If Jason Campbell plays the Bears will lean on their running game, which is formidable.

Normally, traveling to Soldier Field spells L-O-S-S for the Vikings, but with all the questions swirling around this game, this trip might represent the best chance to beat the Bears this season.  The two teams will square off again in two weeks up in Minneapolis, but one would expect Cutler to be at full strength by then.  Most casinos in Vegas have pulled this game off the board, which tells you that they think who plays QB for Chicago on Sunday is pretty important.  A win would be really important for the guys in purple, as they continue to grow and try to compete for a playoff berth.

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