Minnesota Vikings At Chicago Bears: First Quarter Open Thread

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Date: 15 September 2013
Location: Chicago, IL
Time: 12:00 PM Central Stadium: Soldier Field
DirecTV Ch 706
Radio: Vikings Radio Network
XM Ch 225 (CHI)
Sirius Ch 137
TV Announcers: Thom Brenneman
Brian Billick
Know Thy Foe: Windy City Gridiron
Line: Chicago -6, O/U 42 (thanks to the SB Nation Odds page)
Chris' Prediction: Bears 27, Vikings 17
Final Score: Bears 31, Vikings 30

Here are the ground rules for the Game Threads:

-Thou shalt not link illegal feeds of today's game, or I shall kick thy arse to the curb until the game is over. Do not promote then, do not mention them, do not even hint at them. Thou hast been warned.

-Thou shalt make an attempt to keep the swearing to a minimum. Understandable that it will slip occasionally, but do try to limit it. If you really feel the need to curse, use the spoiler tags to keep it covered up. We'll get the sentiment.

-Thou shalt not feed the trolls. Rather, thou shall simply point them out, and they shall be banished to the fires of Mordor. Or Wisconsin. Whichever we feel is more harsh at the time.

-Thou shalt not engage in racist, sexist, or other such insulting rhetoric. Somebody disagreeing with you does not make them racist or sexist. It means they disagree with you. Talk it out like adults.

-Thou shalt not bait the fans of other teams into trolling.

-Basically, thou shalt not be a jackwagon in the game thread.

If you've followed this site for any length of time, you know that I hate predicting this team to lose, and especially by a significant margin. But, for some reason, I'm just not feeling it for the purple and gold today. I would love for them to prove me wrong, though. . .there's room in the refrigerator for some leftover crow.

So, what can the Minnesota Vikings do in order to accomplish something they haven't done since 2007, that being defeat the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field?

1) Don't let Matt Forte do what Reggie Bush did - All things considered, the Vikings' secondary did a pretty decent job against a talented wide receiver corps in Detroit last week. On the other hand, they got absolutely massacred by Reggie Bush and Joique Bell out of the backfield. The Bears have their own solid 1-2 running back punch in the versatile Matt Forte and the hammer in Michael Bush. Both of those guys, and particularly Forte, are capable of catching passes out of the backfield, and whoever the Vikings have at linebacker this week. . .whether it's Chad Greenway, Erin Henderson, Marvin Mitchell, or Desmond Bishop. . .needs to get it together to keep the defense from getting killed in the middle of the field.

2) Get in Jay Cutler's face - The Bears, surprisingly, did not allow a sack last week against a very good Cincinnati Bengals pass rush, although their offense still looked a bit out of sorts under new coach Marc Trestman. The Vikings' pass rush looked sub-par last week against a Detroit offensive line that, on paper, they should have dominated. We've seen in the past that Jay Cutler can be rattled if he takes a few good shots, and that's what Jared Allen, Brian Robison, Everson Griffen and company need to do this week. Hopefully the return of Kevin Williams in the middle can help to bolster the defensive line.

3) Open the stinking playbook already - As we've said numerous times, this season is. . .to clean up a regularly used phrase. . .a "defecate or remove yourself from the toilet" season for Vikings' quarterback Christian Ponder. We saw last week that teams are going to continue to load up on 8 and 9-man fronts until the Vikings show they can beat it. In order to beat it, they need to start spreading the field. Take a few deep shots to Jerome Simpson and rookie Cordarrelle Patterson (the latter of whom will likely see a lot more time this week for just this reason), go with some four and five-wide sets, and make the Bears cover guys like Greg Jennings and Kyle Rudolph and Jarius Wright. Adrian Peterson is going to get his, and we know that. . .it will be easier for him as well if this team can move some of Chicago's linebackers and safeties out of the box. And for crying out loud, stop overusing that stupid "full house" formation that pretty much screams "HEY, FEEL FREE TO PUT EIGHT OR NINE GUYS IN THE BOX FOR THIS ONE."

According to the folks at the Weather Underground. . .the meteorology website, not the terrorist organization. . .we might be in for a bit of a sloppy track at Soldier Field today. By kickoff, we're looking at temperatures in the lower 60s and a 70-80% chance of rain that appears to be on track to last all game long. You would think that this favors Minnesota, but we'll have to see how that works out. Throw in the fact that there was a college game played on that same field yesterday, and the track at Soldier Field. . .which isn't exactly Augusta National in the first place. . .could already be in mid-to-late season form.

Oh, and if I haven't mentioned it already. . .and I'm pretty sure that I haven't. . .our own Eric Thompson is going to be at Soldier Field for today's game. Here's his Twitter feed, which will likely be filled with his musings from the field.

We're a little more than an hour away from kickoff in Chicago, ladies and gentlemen. Here's hoping that we're all a lot happier at the end of today's game than we were at the end of the Detroit game.


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