Chicago Bears: Reaction to Victory Over Minnesota Vikings
Bears 28 Vikings 10- My Reaction
The Chicago Bears got back on the winning track with a 28-10 victory over their NFC North Rival. Here are my analysis on the win.
Offense shows balance: After a hideous performance from the offensive line last week against the San Francisco 49ers that resulted in line-up changes, offensive coordinator Mike Tice called a great game to protect his starting quarterback Jay Cutler. The Bears ran the ball 35 times between Matt Forte and Michael Bush with Cutler throwing the football 31 times.
J’Marcus Webb did a great job on Jared Allen throughout the contest and Brandon Marshall reached the 1000 yard plateau; a feat that hasn’t been accomplish by a Bears WR since Marty Booker did it in 2002. It took 11 games through the season, but the Bears might have an identity on offense heading into the playoffs.
Defense rebounds from embarrassing showing: The Bears defense set the tone early when Henry Melton sacked Christian Ponder on the first play of the game. The Bears front seven did a great job containing Adrian Peterson, and forcing Ponder to beat them without his favorite weapon active in Percy Harvin.
The Bears got after Ponder all afternoon, throwing him off rhythm and forcing him to make some poor throws. The Bears were able to hold the Vikings to 258 total yards and force two turnovers in the process.
Offensive grade: A-
Mike Tice deserves a lot of credit for his game plan against the Vikings defense. With Jay Cutler coming back from a concussion, Tice was able to successfully call a conservative game plan to protect his signal caller. Cutler was sharp with the football all game, completing 23 of his 31 passes for 188 yards and a touchdown. Brandon Marshall stole the headlines with his performance, but Earl Bennett finally awoke from the dead to give Cutler another option.
You can credit Tice for sticking to the run as the reason for the Bears success on offense in the game.
Defensive grade: B+
You’re not going to completely shut down a running back of Adrian Peterson ability, but the Bears were able to contain him. When the Bears contained Peterson early, the Vikings offensive coordinator got impatient with the run game and put it on Christian Ponder shoulders to win them the game. The Bears did an excellent job neutralizing Ponder, who couldn’t get into a rhythm with his wide receivers.
The defensive line did a fantastic job disrupting Ponder’s timing; the secondary shutdown the Vikings receivers. A great bounce back performance by the defense after a lousy one last week.
Offensive Game Ball: Jay Cutler
There were fans out there that thought the Bears could potentially have a QB controversy between Jay Cutler and Jason Campbell before last week’s game (Silly right?). Cutler performance today further builds a strong case why he’s the most talented QB in Bears franchise history. The Matt Spaeth touchdown was a pass that few QB’s around the league can make, and he was able to hit seven different WR’s in the game.
The Bears needed their leader to step up and put the offense on his back, and he did just that against the Vikings.
Defensive Game Ball: Bears Front Seven
The front seven form the Bears did a great job neutralizing Adrian Peterson. Peterson was still able to get 100 yards rushing, but it had no effect on the outcome. Instead it put more pressure on Christian Ponder to make plays against a defense that was simply on a mission to prove a point to everyone.
The defensive line created havoc in the back field for most of the game. They sack Ponder a couple times and mainly threw him off rhythm.
The Bears win their eighth game of the regular season, but it surely came with a price. Six starters were injured and didn’t return; the list includes Devin Hester, Matt Forte, Lance Louis, Chris Spencer, and Charles Tillman. Lance Briggs was also injured in Sunday’s contest and was seen leaving the stadium in a walking boot.
The Bears won the game, but the story this week will be how the Bears can deal with the injuries moving forward. The Bears hope to have a majority of those players back as they try to finish this season strong.