In a huge weekend for the Chicago Bears, they visit the Minnesota Vikings in what is the first of five remaining must-win games of the year. Trying to keep pace with the Detroit Lions (7-5), the Bears (6-5) have to get a win to avoid falling a game back to a team that swept them this season. Each game from here on out is going to be a crucial one.
Lately, the Bears defense has continued to get worse. This is absolutely the reason for their struggles this season. Offensively, even without Jay Cutler, they’ve been able to put the ball in the end zone. Josh McCown has done more than just a formidable job in leading the offense under Marc Trestman and doesn’t even come close to deserving the blame for recent losses.
Without Lance Briggs and D.J. Williams still, the Bears are hoping for some solid play from a couple of newcomers like Jon Bostic and Khaseem Greene — both rookies at the linebacker positions this year. Henry Melton — along with Williams — is also obviously out for the year, which has been detrimental to the Bears’ run defense. In short, they’ve given up tons of yardage on the ground this year especially without three key veterans.
On Sunday, Chicago gets to attempt to stop the greatest back in the game, Adrian Peterson, who also happens to be the reigning MVP. It seems that every time he plays the Bears, Peterson is motivated just a tad more than usual. Chicago knows this all too well, as Peterson gained yet another 100 yards in a loss to the Bears earlier this season.
With the quarterback position everything but solidified in Minnesota, the Bears need not worry about Christian Ponder. The one way they are going to beat the Vikings is by keeping tabs on Peterson — period. If they want to allow Ponder to make plays and put the game on his shoulders, so be it. But, Peterson is the biggest danger to this defense that’s been gashed as of late.