The series between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings has essentially been home and away. The Minnesota Vikings have not won at Soldier Field since 2007, and the Bears last won in Minnesota in January of 2012.
The Vikings visit Soldier Field today after losing their season-opener against the Detroit Lions last week.
For the Vikings, the team had a very successful off-season that included multiple first-round draft picks and the addition of wide receiver Greg Jennings, however, the team showed no improvement in week 1.
The Vikings are still very much a team that depends on running back Adrian Peterson. Though, as the Lions proved last week, Peterson will not always be enough for the Vikings to be victorious.
Peterson scored a total of three touchdowns against the Lions, however, four turnovers by Vikings’ quarterback Christian Ponder halted whatever momentum the Vikings were able to obtain.
Ponder along with Peterson are now up against the Chicago Bears defense. For Ponder, this appears to be a dangerous matchup. The Chicago Bears defense, specifically cornerbacks Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings, are a team filled with ball-hawks. The Bears defense enters each game with the expectation of forcing multiple turnovers and this week will be no different.
For the Bears defense, the key to generating turnovers against Ponder is to create pressure. The Bears’ defensive line failed to generate any pressure against Andy Dalton of the Cincinnati Bengals last week. If the result is the same today, then Ponder may actually find some success. The Lions showed teams last week that if Ponder is pressured, the quarterback tends to make mistakes. The Bears need to follow the same blueprint.
On offense, Jay Cutler and the Bears look to get off to an early start. Something the team was unable to do against the Cincinnati Bengals last week.
Look for Matt Forte to have an impact on today’s game. The Vikings allowed 191 yards from scrimmage against Reggie Bush of the Lions last week. Forte has been applauded all off-season for being a multi-purpose threat for the Bears offense this season. This may be an early breakout game for the Bears’ running back.
The Bears have the advantage heading into their game against the Vikings, though, sometimes Peterson forces one to throw any and all expectations out the window.