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Breaking Down The Bears

Posted by Mike Wobschall on December 28, 2011 – 7:44 am

The Vikings return to Mall of America Field this weekend to host the Chicago Bears in what will be the season finale for both clubs. The Vikings come into this matchup following a road win over the Washington Redskins on Christmas Eve Day, while the Bears are coming off a 35-21 loss to the Green Bay Packers on Christmas Night.

Sunday will mark the 102nd meeting between the Vikings and Bears, two division rivals dating back to 1961. The Vikings hold the all-time series lead with a 52-47-2 advantage, including the first regular season win in team history via a 37-13 shocker at Met Stadium. But Chicago has dominated the series of late, winning the prior four meetings by a combined score of 142-67. The Bears will play at Mall of America Field on Sunday for the first time since 2009 because the 2010 matchup was played at TCF Bank Stadium following the collapse of the Metrodome roof.

A win on Sunday would give the Vikings their first win against the NFC North this season and it would give Vikings Head Coach Leslie Frazier his first win versus an NFC North opponent. The Bears, meanwhile, have a 7-8 record overall and a 2-3 record against the division this season.

The 2011 season has been an up-and-down campaign for Chicago, and unfortunately for them it will end on a bitter note because injuries have hit them hard and essentially knocked them out of playoff contention. Chicago began the season with just 2 wins in their first 5 games, but then ripped off 5 consecutive wins to move to 7-3 and remain in the thick of the playoff chase. But a hand injury to QB Jay Cutler at the end of Chicago’s Week 11 game against the Chargers began to derail the season, and then a knee injury to starting RB Matt Forte just 2 weeks later forced the season completely off the tracks. Since that 5-game winning streak and the injury to Cutler after the 5th win, the Bears have lost 5 straight games and will try to regroup in the offseason and make another run at it in 2012.

Offensively, it’s a bit deceiving to look at the numbers because of the injuries to Cutler and Forte, and because the team has moved on from backup QB Caleb Hanie and is now playing Josh McCown. A similar progression has occurred at RB, where Forte hasn’t played in the past 3 games, backup Marion Barber III is also dealing with injury, and Kahlil Bell is now shouldering most of the load. For what it’s worth, though, the Bears rank 16th in points per game (22.4), 20th in total offense (321.1 yards per game), 8th in rushing offense (128.2 rushing yards per game) and 24th in passing offense (192.9 passing yards per game).

The Bears are converting just 32.1% of their 3rd downs (27th), have allowed 27 sacks (6th most) and score TDs on 54.1% of their red zone possessions (12th).

Defensively, the Bears remain a solid group and are led by a standout pair of LBs in Brian Urlacher and Lance Briggs, who were both named to the NFC Pro Bowl roster this week. Chicago boasts the NFL’s 6th-best run defense, allowing just 97.5 rushing yards per game and 9 rushing TDs. Chicago has been leaky against the pass, though, as they’ve allowed 256.2 passing yards per game (28th) and 22 TD passes (16th). The Bears best two weapons against the pass are DE Julius Peppers and CB Charles Tillman. Peppers have 10.0 sacks on the season, and has also tallied 4 passes defensed and 3 forced fumbles. Tillman, who was also named to the NFC Pro Bowl roster along with Briggs and Urlacher, has 11 passes defensed, 2 INTs and a sack.

We’ll have much more on the Vikings-Bears season finale all week here on vikings.com, so stay tuned.


Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 23 Comments »


23 Responses to “Breaking Down The Bears”

  1. By Deertracks on Dec 28, 2011 | Reply

    I am just waiting for some dimwit to huff and puff how the Vikings are going to pull the tails of the Bears this Sunday…..

    Unless the Vikings OL, and secondary stands up, it might be just the other way around….

  2. By Viking33 on Dec 28, 2011 | Reply

    I hope the Vikes win this game going away for personal reasons, I live in Chicago and I need the ammunition. I just don’t want to see another Hester Fest like the last game!

  3. By GM on Dec 28, 2011 | Reply

    I wonder how the Official Minnesota Vikings 2011 Yearbook is selling…

  4. By hippster on Dec 28, 2011 | Reply

    breaking down the broken vikings is more like it ,lets all break it down together,bad coaching,bad tackling,bad coverage,change that to no coverage,bad head office ,bad stadium,bad players,worst start in history,10 division loses in a row ,on and on and on the life long fans of this team deserve more than this .

  5. By vikingbob136 on Dec 28, 2011 | Reply

    I hope we lose because then the league will push us down past the Browns, Bucs,Jags and whatever else team has the same record as far as draft position.
    I don’t trust Godell

  6. By Regfan on Dec 28, 2011 | Reply

    I hope the Vikes can reach that goal of the bottom of the league,with their luck they will probably accidently win

  7. By paul on Dec 28, 2011 | Reply

    Could this be the last Minnesota Viking game ever played?

  8. By VikesFan on Dec 28, 2011 | Reply

    they dont need another qb i hope then win so they dont draft luck we got 2 young qbs we dont need another ponder will get better in the offseason you dont just give up on him on his 1st year AND we got joe webb he is a big playmaker WE NEED secondary not another f.r.e.a.k.i.n qb

  9. By VikesFan on Dec 28, 2011 | Reply

    they=vikings

  10. By VikesFan on Dec 28, 2011 | Reply

    colts or rams will get luck

  11. By VikesFan on Dec 28, 2011 | Reply

    you guys or no life fans

  12. By VikesFan on Dec 28, 2011 | Reply

    WOW i ment you guys ARE not or

  13. By VikesFan on Dec 28, 2011 | Reply

    i see vikings beat bears. bears have no qb or rb . and ponder or webb will do good

  14. By animal26 on Dec 29, 2011 | Reply

    Vikesfans: You talk about Webb being apart of the future? Frazier stated in the presser, that there will be no QB competition during training camp/preseason next season and Ponder will be the starter. Webb deserves better then how he’s being treated. He’s proved time and time again, that he should be given a shot to compete with Ponder for the starting position. Frazier is nothing more then a fool. Wouldn’t surprise me in the least, if webb doesn’t start demanding a release or a trade.

  15. By animal26 on Dec 29, 2011 | Reply

    *if Webb starts demanding a release or trade*

  16. By animal26 on Dec 29, 2011 | Reply

    vikesfan:*

  17. By Bigfan1 on Dec 29, 2011 | Reply

    If I were Webb when eligible I’d request trade, to me it looks like they’re not being fair with him they keep sidestepping questions saying oh yes we’ll look at Webb then he either sits on the sidelines or comes in when the team is being trashed and he turns it around. When a team is the worst it’s ever been there should be competition at every position, I don’t see how Ponder can have a free ticket to start next year the way he’s performed this year. They say well we’ll give him time to mature, but they have a guy that’s ready to rock and roll now. Da Bears are not playing well right now, but I wish the Vikes would play all second and third string players this game.

  18. By Deertracks on Dec 29, 2011 | Reply

    Bigfan1…Read my other post “Under Ponder starts Sunday” That is my true feelings on Webb and the Toliet Bowl called Vikings Coaching Staff..

  19. By NORTHLANDER on Dec 29, 2011 | Reply

    Dont kick to Hester!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  20. By barbara on Dec 30, 2011 | Reply

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  21. By Spence on Dec 30, 2011 | Reply

    somebody please buy me football for dummies i dont know a lot about the game but im learning

  22. By Spence on Dec 30, 2011 | Reply

    stert webb he is the better qb and is grate

  23. By Gary & Betty on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    What a career Jim! We are so proud of you! Good luck in today’s game and good luck to you and your family in your retirement! It just won’t be the same watching the Vikes with out you.
    Gary & Betty B

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