For the Chicago Bears to win against Minnesota they need to do these 3 things well enough in order for a victory to get back to an even .500, at 3-3 in the NFC North Division.
1. Establish Running Game Early: The team has it’s best success and effectiveness on offense when it runs the ball 30 or more times (10-1 last season, 2-0 in playoffs, 2-0 this season), so Chicago has to establish the run game early on and eat up the clock, but more importantly, keep the defense fresh, as you saw what a “fresh” defense can do; beating up on Green Bay in the 2nd half. This Bears rushing attack needs to improve it’s yards per carry average and run blocking, though it’s going up against a tall task facing DT’s Kevin and Pat Williams in the middle of a stout Minnesota defense, so expect Chicago to run early and look for them to do this to keep the defense fresh and for the play-action to be available; it is the offense’s best play and bread and butter.
2. Aggressive Defense Wins Games: Chicago is at it’s best when they attack the opposing offense, keeping ’em off guard with blitzes and Cover 2 schemes, whether it be a fake blitz from the LB’s or a serious pass-rush that gets to the QB in a hurry, you can see it’s best games are when penetration from the DL is moving en route to the QB. Expect the Windy City Soldiers to get excellent defensive line pressure and force the QB of Minnesota to get rid of the ball quickly, helping a less than full-strength secondary that is still without CB Nate Vasher. The defensive line is the key to this defensive unit’s success (Detroit: 6 sacks) and it’s a force to be reckoned with, and it may arguably be the best in all of football. In the NFL you need to generate a consistent pass rush from the defensive line in order to protect your secondary and to keep your LB’s able to roam free from sideline to sideline to get to the ballcarrier and play coverage, and this is especially the case for the Monsters of the Midway, as they love to play that Cover-2 defense and drop the LB’s back, relying on a steady pass rush from the DL.
3. Turnover Margin Matters: Chicago, plain and simple, cannot ill-afford to give/cough up the ball when playing with an offense that still, is less than stellar. Against a subpar defense and a good running offense like the Vikes have, you have to take care of the football and when the Bears do, they truly possess a great chance to win the game, and with that happening, they allow their defense to be more aggressive and lay out the lumber. Look for the team to play aggressive, not conservative early on, and find out what’s cooking/working with the run game, as I see a more comfortable QB in Brian Griese running the offense, as he is locked in and loaded with the TE’s, making good, quick decisions and reads. Bears football still relies on the run game and a defense that creates opportunites and forces turnovers to give the ball back to the offense in excellent field position. It is true that this team would be 4-1 if they handled the ball a little bit better and if the offense can make it’s share of plays and hold on to the football carefully, expect the Bears to come out on top victoriously. The defense is too good to lose a game by itself and when the turnover margin is won by Chicago they ride on to a good performance and put another “W” in the win column, so look for the team to continue to strip the ball loose and go for the picks, this team is hungry and absolutely thirsty for their first defensive touchdown of the year – and this is the TIME to score on DEFENSE! This team’s strengths are also sometimes their greatest weaknesses, but the Bears need to set the pace, tempo, and aggressive fighting style on defense, winning up-front in the trenches to get the job done in this low-scoring battle, and take home a win that belongs to them – the defense will not let the team down, now all the offense has to do is make it’s share of plays when they need to, executing them so that they don’t put all the onus and pressure on the the defense in bad positions, because against Minnesota, the game at hand – plays into Chicago’s greatest strengths. The offense is good enough to finish off a game, as shown last week, and it’s good enough to preserve a victory, and let the defense and special teams do the rest, as their the best at what they do in the league – so offense, hold on to the ball and cash in when you’re within striking distance, as the defense will put you in position to win the game!
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