I asked and the fans have responded with 60% of the vote that the key match-up Bears want to me focus on is the Bears offensive line versus the Vikings defensive line. I am assuming the Bears fans want to key in on this match-up because they realize that this will be one of those games where Lovie needs to let Martz and Cutler off the leash. The Bills game last Sunday cemented the fact that this is a pass first team. Against the worst rushing defense in the league the Bears average 3.4 yards per run. Let me repeat that again, against the worst rushing defense in the league the Bears average 3.4 yards per run. That's horrible considering the fact that the Bills weren't showing that many defensive fronts to stop the run. The Bears are not going to be able to run the ball against the Vikings front 7, but if Bears pass protection keeps Cutler upright they can pass on this secondary.
The Vikings secondary is banged up at the cornerback position with starter Cedric Griffin out for the season. Asher Allen who has been struggling mightily might also be out this Sunday due to a concussion. That leaves Chris Cook (rookie) Lito Sheppard (old and slow) and Frank Walker (injured and bad) for the Vikings pass defense. If the Bears offensive line can man up and play inspiring football against the Vikings defensive line then it's going to make it easy for Cutler to air it out against that secondary. If the Bears go into Sunday game with the same game plan they had against the Bills they will lose the game. The Bears have to take advantage of the Vikings secondary often this Sunday and the blueprint starts with the line taking care of business against arguably the most talented front 4 in football.
This will be Omiyale's toughest match-up of the season against one of the elite defensive ends in football in Jared Allen. Until last Sunday, Allen has had a disappointing season but the guy is still a high motor end and that showed up last Sunday against the Cardinals. Omiyale has been solid at LT this season, but he is going to have to have his best game of the season in order for the passing attack to get on track this Sunday. Expect a TE to be lined up next to Frankie O often this Sunday.
LG Chris Williams vs. DT Pat Williams
Chris Williams has had a rough three game stretch where he has had to face Albert Hanyesworth, Kyle Williams, and now Pat Williams. In my opinion, the interior line play will be very important and this individual match-up here interests me the most between Chris Williams and Pat Williams. Williams has shown some potential the last two games, he can be an effective pass blocking LG and this Sunday Martz and Tice will like to see him show more of that against Pat Williams who's bigger and stronger than Chris.
With Olin Kreutz missing practice for the second straight day with a hamstring injury, this might be Edwin Williams or Lance Louis against Kevin Williams. But for today I will stay with the thought that Kreutz will play this Sunday against the Vikings which means Garza at RG. These two guys know each other very well and in the last meeting, Garza, with the help of Kreutz, completely took Williams out of the game. It won't be that easy this time around, as I expect Kreutz to help out Chris Williams a lot this Sunday with Pat Williams. That means Garza will be one on one for most of the game on Kevin, and you have to hope Garza still has it in him to be counted on to hold up against an elite DT one on one.
RE J'Marcus Webb vs. LE Ray Edwards
Here's another interesting individual match-up with the inexperienced Webb against a good defensive end in Ray Edwards. Webb, like Williams, is still learning on the job, but had his best game of the season last Sunday at Buffalo. Ray Edwards is better than any pass rusher on the Bills team, and if Garza is shifted to center because Kreutz can't go this Sunday, his job becomes that much harder. The veteran presence of Garza next to him will be much needed this Sunday to help with what Webb is about to experience against Edwards.