The Bears don’t have much going for them offensively them heading into Monday night’s game against the Minnesota Vikings.
Their defense, on the other hand, has an intriguing match up against a bad offense.
The Vikings’ offense has been anemic, scoring just ten points last week. They average just 299.2 yards per game, which is second to last in the league while they score 21.5 points per game, 19th most in the league.
That disparity comes from their stellar defense, which gives the offense the best starting average field position in the league, according to Football Outsiders: starting at their own 32 yard line on average. They also have the best time of possession per drive.
The key for Chicago will be to get pressure on Sam Bradford and string together long drives to keep time of possession close to even or in the Bears favor.
With this in mind, these are the three key players for the Bears:
Jay Cutler, QB - The Bears’ No. 1 signal caller is back behind center. Unfortunately, much like week one, he is going to be behind an offensive line that is in flux, with back ups in place of key starters Kyle Long and Josh Sitton. Cutler will not have time to knock the rust off. He’s got to come back sharp, get in to a rhythm and play turnover-free football. If the Bears are going to pull off the upset, he has to play his best football.
Leonard Floyd, OLB - The last time we saw Floyd he had a breakthrough performance against the Packers with two sacks and a forced fumble. After a game like that he needs to build consistency. In order to do that he has to string good games together. Getting pressure on Bradford, who has been sacked 14 times this year, including six last week. If Bradford gets rattled he will be more likely to turn the ball over.
Alshon Jeffery, WR - Going right along with Cutler, it’s time for Chicago’s best receiver to break out. Jeffery hasn’t had a 100-yard game since Cutler played way back in week one and had 96 yards in the half before Cutler was hurt. It’s time for Cutler to get his favorite target back to his dominant ways. If Cutler and Alshon can get rolling it will could be tough for the Vikings to keep eight in the box and allow the Bears to keep their run going and balance out the time of possession.
Who are your key players?