The Bears face the Vikings this Sunday in what could be the most important game of the season. Not many are giving the Bears credit for beating the Bills but a win is a win and the Bears are 5-3.
Against the Vikings, the Bears need to use the same formula on offense they used against the Bills. Mike Martz needs to dial up a nice mix of running and passing plays and use Matt Forte and Chester Taylor.
Although the Bears didn't have much success in running the ball last week, it was enough to keep the Bills honest. Between Forte and Taylor, they touched the ball 28 for 87 total yards.
Forte's 22 yard run was enough to make the defense pay attention to the running game.
Taylor was able to punch the ball in at the goal line, the Bears first conversion all year. Let's consider this a moral victory for the offensive line.
Both Forte and Taylor need to touch the ball. Martz cannot allow Jay Cutler to drop back to pass only to look down field. The Bears do face a stout Vikings defense that is 3rd in overall yards and 6th in stopping the run.
Like the Bears, the Vikings are struggling to sack the quarterback but they were effective in doing so last week against the Cardinals. Given the Bears shaky offensive line play this season, let's hope the Bears o-line can hold up as they did against a less talented Bills team.
On the other side of the ball, the Bears need to stop Adrian Peterson. The Bears defense ranks 3rd in points given up, 6th in overall yards and 3rd at stopping the run.
Peterson, however, seems to play his best games against the Bears. In his career, Peterson has run for 733 yards in 6 games with 11 touchdowns. The Bears defense has been successful in causing Peterson to fumble, but it seems as if he's corrected his fumblitis this season.
Other than Peterson, Brett Favre has looked every bit of his 41 year-old self, although he still has some magic left in him as we saw last weekend against the Cardinals. He may be throwing the ball to Sidney Rice who will probably be active.
The Bears need this game to keep pace with the Packers, earn a little respect and win over a few more skeptical Bears fans. They should be able to beat the Vikings in front of the 4th Phase.
Who am I taking? The Bears of course, 27-17.