Vikings vs Bears preview by Joel Schafer

Vikings come into the week 8 tilt riding high on 2 straight wins coming out of the bye week, while the Bears are licking their wounds after giving the Lions their first win of the season and having to wait 2 weeks to try to make amends.

 

 

Vikings will have a tough task of dealing with Alshon Jeffrey who has become the number one wide-out since the off-season departure of Brandon Marshall. Marshall has had some monstrous games against the Vikings. One of those games was 12 catches on 15 targets and an absurd 249 yards and touchdowns. He has also been pedestrian in some games such as last years finally where he was only targeted 5 times catching 2 for 17 yards. In 5 games he has averaged 9 targets and 5 receptions. Jeffrey is getting healthy and had a week to recover.  Look for Xavier Rhodes to be checking him a lot in this game.

 

Jay Cutler has often been the whipping boy since he got to Chicago. Many call him a whiner, not tough and many over negative things.  Fans were expecting him to have the same numbers as what he had in 2008. Throw any of that out the window when he is playing the Vikings. He is 8-3 vs the Vikings for his career. He seems to have some sort of magic against the Purple. With Marshall gone Chicago went out and found his favorite target 2008 Eddie Royal. Royal is averaging 7 targets a game. With Jeffery on the other side this helps open up the offense. Jay also seems to have a little Houdini in him escaping pressure and  keeping the play alive while his receivers work themselves open.

 

 

Matt Forte has averaged just 77.2 yards a game vs the Vikings.  The bears in the past 2 years we have seen him catch a lot of passes out of the backfield. This trend has continued throughout the 2015  season. Forte is seeing 3-5 touches thru the air each game.  Look for the trend to continue.

 

 

The Vikings  have had a hard time keeping Teddy off the dirt this year. Bridgewater has kept his composure despite the beating he is taking.   This is an opportunity to keep him clean for a game. The bears have only 12 sacks on the year (2 per game) They are led by  linebacker Pernell McPhee (4) and defensive end Jarvis Jenkins. Adrain Peterson has continued to be a liability on obvious passing plays. Look for Matt Asiata or Jerrick McKinnon to see some extra snaps because of this issue.

 

The biggest thing to watch will be the turnover battle. The bears for the season are a -1 as the Viking are +2. If Cutler is careless with the ball the Vikings will capitalize. The bears don’t give away yards but have been on the bad side of the short field much of the season and have given up 15 passing touchdowns this year. This could spell a big game for Diggs and Bridgewater.

teddy vs sdRHODESjay-cutlerMartellus Bennettstefon-diggs

Both teams have descent tight ends look for Martellus Bennett (leads the team in targets) and Kyle Rudolph to a fair share of action of the middle of the field. Watch for Bennett to complain all game about being held or interfered with.  Expect Cutler to throw at least one ball right into the Vikings defender’s hands and flat-out drop it and the next play Alshon Jeffery catches a TD. Be ready to see Coradarrelle Patterson get benched or deactivated. Watch Jay Cutler get hit all game long and in the third quarter get his pouty face out.