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Chicago Bears' Six-Pack Keys to Victory Over the Vikings

The Bears have to beat the Vikings to keep pace with the Lions in the NFC North. How can they do it? We're previewing this week's matchup.

Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Lions jumped out to their seventh win by destroying the Packers on Thanksgiving Day, and now have the lead in the NFC North. The Bears have to win to keep pace, and in order to do that, they have to face the team with the best running back in the game.

Just to recap, here are the six keys I offered all the way back in week 2, when these two teams faced each other the first time:

1) Adrian Peterson
2) Jared Allen
3) Stephen Paea
4) Julius Peppers
5) Get an Early Lead...
6) ...And Make Christian Ponder Beat You

Really, not much changes. Honestly, I could probably just copy and paste "Adrian Peterson" 75 times and meet the minimum word count and call that my article. But because I feel like I should at least add a couple new keys for this week.


No, seriously. He's kind of important to account for. Just a little. He might be someone to keep an eye on. Especially since the Bears just haven't had consistent defensive line play from anyone, haven't been able to stop anybody from running the ball, and are playing four new starters from the beginning of the year on defense. For a defense that's too easily shoved out of their run fits and struggles making plays on running backs anywhere they line up, Peterson could cause a million different problems.

That means there's a slew of young defensive players that have to figure out run-stopping in a hurry, including Jon Bostic, Khaseem Greene, and Landon Cohen, as well as newly-acquired-and-currently-questionable-to-play Jeremiah Ratliff.

2) Force Christian Ponder to Put the Ball In the Air

Ponder's been benched already this year but came back in after an injury to Josh Freeman. Think about that, the Vikings have cycled through three quarterbacks back to their original starter. Who are they, the Browns?

But in all seriousness, if the Bears can somehow keep the ball in Ponder's hands (maybe through getting a lead, like above), the Bears might well be in control of the game.