After losing a heartbreaker in Detroit two weeks ago, the Bears will have to put it behind them as they face another division opponent.
Here are my keys to the game for the Bears to be successful against the Vikings.
Offense: First thing the Bears need to do is get running back Matt Forte involved early and often against the Vikings. When the Bears played the Lions, Forte only had 64 rushing yards on the day.
The Viking have the number six ranked rushing defense in the league but the Bears need to somehow find a way to run the ball effectively against the Vikings. Offensive coordinator Adam Gase is going to have to come up with a game plan that has a good ratio of run and pass plays.
If Forte can’t get it going on the ground, then the Bears need to utilize his pass catching abilities on the Vikings linebackers.
Quarterback Jay Cutler needs to also play big against the Vikings if the Bears want any chance of winning this Sunday. According to ESPN.com, Cutler has 2,606 yards, 23 touchdowns, 13 interceptions and a 91.5 quarterback rating in 11 games against the Vikings.
So Cutler needs to keep up his consistent play against the Vikings. With all of Cutler’s receivers being healthy this week, Cutler should have a big day. Cutler and wide receiver Alshon Jeffrey will have a complete week to get in sync and the duo should put up good numbers against the Vikings defense.
Defense: Any time the Bears play the Vikings, the number one goal is try and contain running back Adrian Peterson. This could prove to be difficult with linebacker Shea McClellin most likely missing his second straight game.
Peterson is the number four leading rusher in the league and he will be going against a Bears defense that is ranked number 20 in the league in rushing defense. According to ESPN.com, the Bears defense gives up 124.8 yards a game. With injuries on the defensive side of the ball and veteran defensive lineman Jeremiah Ratliff no longer on the team, the Bears could have a tough task on their hands with Peterson.
The Bears defensive will also have to account for rookie wide receiver Stefon Diggs. He has come out hot the past two weeks and with the Bears’ struggling secondary, Diggs could have a big game.
Special Teams: For the Bears’ special teams unit, they need to limit their penalties. Throughout the season the Bears have had costly mistakes, resulting in bad field position. So look for special teams coordinator Jeff Rodgers to prepare his unit this week against the Vikings.