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NFL Week 8: Chicago Bears vs Minnesota Vikings Pre-Party Open Thread

The Bears had a week to sit on coaching themselves out of a win, and then Jeremiah Ratliff blew up and out of town. Coupled with the trade deadline, we have a lot to discuss this week as the Bears push for 3-4 against the Vikings.

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to Week 8 in the NFL. By now, we like to think we have a grasp on who's good, who's bad, who's a playoff team and who's in contention for the first overall pick in the draft.

Then you realize ten of the 16 NFC teams are at or below .500 and that the NFC South, who last year had a division champion below .500, has two teams with 6 wins and you wonder what the hell goes on with the NFL every year.

(Yes, that's a rhetorical statement. NFL gonna NFL.)

Speaking of six wins, with the Packers leading the NFC North with six of them as well, today's game features two teams that combined have six wins. The Minnesota Vikings have put together a pretty solid campaign so far behind a tight defense and an offense that has found a way to make things happen by getting Adrian Peterson the ball enough to break big plays once in a while while he turns and leads the league in zero or negative runs.

What's helped is second-year quarterback Teddy Bridgewater getting things to work with Stefon Diggs and Mike Wallace, giving the once-and-longtime one-trick ponies some additional offensive credibility. And, did we mention a defense that played really tough this year?

Spin that back to the navy and orange, who got rid of Jeremiah Ratliff after he (allegedly, question mark?) flipped out on Ryan Pace, and coupled with last year's (alleged?) blow up, didn't find himself promoted to captain this time - and oh yeah, the defense hasn't been that strong itself this year anyway. Kyle Fuller hasn't at all capitalized on his stellar one-game debut. A secondary that couldn't locate a ball with a picture guide, instruction manual and a ball detector (I'd assume that'd work like a metal detector, but I don't believe footballs have metal in them... but that just carries a joke too far) and a pass rush that hasn't found ways to get home outside of Pernell McPhee have created issues for a team that's been... serviceable, offensively.

And not to mention a defense that's not been good against runs up the middle... which the Vikings run a lot of. I'd like to think lessons were learned after allowing a miserable rushing team like the Lions to run roughshod over the Bears. This seems like it'll be an offensive day, or it'll have to be, for the Bears to get things done today.

Rested up from the bye week? Let's go.

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Let's start you on the injury report, listing Hroniss Grasu as questionable and Shea McClellin as doubtful.

Kev talked to Ted Glover of the Daily Norseman about the matchup, and here's Ted's answers to Kev's questions. And vice versa.

Sam has his three players that have to step up for a win. Jay Cutler is one of 'em.

If you want to read more on the Jeremiah Ratliff incidents, here ya go. And more.

Trade Deadline: We have the Bears' cap space right here, and Les wonders if the Bears should make any more moves.

If you're Mike Ditka, either Halloween came early, or the paycheck did.

Fantasy Football: Here's Jeff on Week 8, and here's Dane with the AP vs Forte debate.

Gameday procedures today are the typical noon procedures. We'll have the opening threads at noon, and have subsequent threads popping for each quarter as the game goes on. After the game, we'll have the late threads for the late games, and we'll have an immediate recap coupled with Notes in the morning.

So with all the propers out of the way... Bear down.

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So, I have no idea what we'll discuss this week, it's not like anything happened or could happen in Bears world or anything like that. Oh right.

We'll be talking about Jeremiah Ratliff, the trade deadline, bad Illini football, and of course Halloween. We may or may not sub in recap and matchup talk as well, but that's to be determined depending on how much we'd like to depress ourselves.

Want to get a hold of us? Here's how:

  • BOO! Surprised? Look down; you can comment in this very comment thread.
  • Over on my Twitch channel. It's over here.
  • Over on our Twitters. I'm over at @SJS_illini; he's over at@SamHouseholder.