A nice long victory week is just what Chicago Bears fans deserved following such a lengthy losing streak.
Now, though they have to come home and take on a struggling Minnesota Vikings team.
This is a winnable game for Chicago, but we’ve seen them choke these winnable games away.
Last week was a big step forward. Now it’s about stringing them together.
Here’s how some of our crew sees the keys to the Bears beating the Vikings on Sunday.
Sam: The Minnesota Vikings have a bad passing defense and are second in the league in turnovers. The Bears really need to pick up where they left off, get pressure on Kirk Cousins and take the ball away. Without Justin Jefferson, Cousins shouldn’t have the same level of comfort knowing he has a WR who can catch anything. On offense, continue to let DJ Moore cook.
Ken: My biggest key is ball security and winning battles at the line of scrimmage on both sides. On offense, keep pressure off of Justin in the passing game and on defense, find ways to put pressure on Kirk Cousins. Jefferson may be out but Jordan Addison can flat-out play, and without pressure Cousins can pick a team apart.
Lester: Keep running the passing game through DJ Moore, and allow the attention he’ll draw from Minnesota’s defense to open things up for the other receivers. The Vikes are allowing a passer rating against of 110.8 (3rd worst in the NFL), so Justin Fields should find some receivers if the pass protection holds up. They will blitz quite a bit, which means more man coverage, which means Fields could also see some open lanes to take off and run. I expect another big day from QB1.
On defense, the Bears should get some of their secondary players back, but Coach Eberflus needs to stay aggressive and pressure Cousins from different angles.
Josh: it would be wonderful if the Bears stayed aggressive on both sides of the ball for a solid 60 minutes. The offense needs to push the pace on every drive and not take the foot off the gas. The defense needs to make its presence felt and stop playing soft.
Taylor: Offensively, continue what we did the last two weeks and into four quarters. With Herbert out it could be a big game for D’Onta Foreman who we saw last year replace CMC after the trade and put up big numbers almost immediately. We need to continue to add on to what the defensive line was able to do last week in creating pressure and ultimately turnovers. I think winning the turnover battle and finding a way to stop on third down are going to be the key ingredients to a win this weekend.
Jack: Offense: This Minnesota defense is bottom half of the league in yards allowed per game, takeaways, and touchdowns allowed per game. What does that mean? Fields and Co. should be able to continue their encouraging trend of moving the ball down the field with success. A major key to that is the penalty battle. False starts, holding, and personal fouls will put the Bears behind the sticks and that kills drives.
Defense: I’ve been shouting “TAKEAWAYS!” into the wind for weeks now, and whaduyakno, last Thursday the Bears won the turnover battle for the first time this season and they won by 20. Back to my shouting I go.
What do you think are the keys to the game? What will it take for the Bears to win their second straight game?