It’s a mixed bag if the Bears win because I’m not sure any fans are left that want to see Matt Eberflus on the sidelines in 2024, but they also know that George McCaskey’s bar for improvement is quite low.
The Vikings are a beatable team. Josh Dobbs has only been on their team for about a month, and they aren’t a strong run team. But they could be getting Justin Jefferson back and have a very strong passing game with Jordan Addison and T.J. Hockenson.
Here is our crew’s breakdown of the game.
Sam: The Bears have to finish a game. I think they are better and more talented than we give them credit for because their coaching is so god-awful. Josh Dobbs is the darling of the league because of what he’s done in tricky situations this season. The Vikings could get Justin Jefferson back. But Jordan Addison has become a problem, too. Those are two big tests for Jaylon Johnson and Tyrique Stevenson. And then T.J. Hockenson is one of the most productive TEs in the league this season. Montez Sweat is going to have to get after Dobbs and the DL is going to have to contain him because he can scramble.
On offense, keep doing what’s working. Get DJ Moore going and run the ball down their throats. Keep Fields’ pockets moving.
Lester: Football really isn’t as difficult as the Bears make it seem. Offensively, you find something your team can do and build your scheme around that. If you are having success in a game doing one thing, keep doing that thing.
On defense, if you don’t have the talent to overwhelm an offense by simply running out on the field, then you need to scheme up ways to attack and confuse an offense. The Bears have some playmakers on offense, and they spent a lot on bolstering their defense, yet the offensive and defensive play-callers continuously coach passively. They show some flashes of aggressiveness through three quarters, but when it’s buck-up time, they turtle.
The Bears can win this week if they know who they are, know that the Vikings will blitz them, and plan accordingly. Let Fields play free. Remember that DJ Moore is that dude. And do it for all four quarters.
Taylor: The frustrating part for me is that I think this football team can actually be pretty good. When I look at the roster when everyone is healthy, there isn’t a glaring weakness to me anymore, and that is a positive that I want to pay attention to. If I have learned anything from working and covering two different organizations, it’s that it goes beyond that and as cheesy as it sounds they have to “learn how to win” and that’s not easy.
It took the Jags about 11 weeks to figure it out last year, but it just takes one game to flip things and make them cohesive.
This O line has not played together all year, Justin missed four weeks and the DBs also haven’t all played together since week one. When they all get comfortable and form some consistency, I think we can have some fun games down the stretch, but the coaches have to get out of their own way.
As for this game, pre-snap penalties must be eliminated, continue adding pressure to the QB, and stick with the game plan that works for four quarters.
ECD: I’m going to break away from my usual format and keep it simple.
The Bears coaching staff needs to put their players in their best possible position for success. Then, get the hell out of the way, and let them win the game. Justin Fields spoke for everyone when he said they should have won at Detroit. And, if they play as strong this coming week, the Bears should win this game. If the coaching staff just gets a clue and coaches to win.
Josh: Luke Getsy and Matt Eberflus need to stop making things harder for their players. Chicago needs to play aggressive football for all four quarters. Let Fields play.—sink or swim, he needs to leave everything on the field. This weird throwback ball control, slow roll effort to lose close needs to go. You play to win the game.
Jack R. Salo: As much as I’ve been stressing for the Bears to run the ball more, it doesn’t appear Khalil Herbert was truly ready to come back from IR. If D’Onta Foreman can’t go on Monday, the Bears might need to throw the ball 35+ times. So that means DJ Moore needs at least a third of those targets. The key for any team should be to let your star receiver win the game for you. Keep Tyler Scott out of third down plays.
On defense, the key is going to be in the trenches. The Vikings may boast the best crew of receiving targets in the entire NFL between a healthy Jefferson, Addison, and Hockenson. It’s still a backup quarterback throwing the ball to him, which means it’s vital to stuff the run, take away the short stuff to force true dropbacks, and then collapse the pocket.
What are your keys for a Bears upset?