|CHICAGO BEARS (9-4)||GAME 14||MINNESOTA VIKINGS (5-8)|
|Date:||20 December 2010 ||Location:||Minneapolis, MN |
|Time:||7:30 PM Central ||Stadium:||TCF Bank Stadium |
|TV:||ESPN||Know Thy Enemy:||Windy City Gridiron|
|Gonzo's Prediction:||Vikings 13, Bears 10|
You remember back when they used to make sitcoms that were actually funny? And then when there was a really serious issue, when they'd advertise it on television, you'd get the real serious music, and the announcer's voice would drop about two octaves, and you'd hear something like ". . .and then, on a very special Blossom, Dad finds marijuana in Joey's backpack. . ."
Well tonight, ladies and gentlemen, tonight we get our own "very special episode." Only this one doesn't have anything to do with pot or getting locked in a bicycle shop or drinking and driving or anything like that. This actually IS special. The last time the Vikings played a home football game outdoors. . .exactly 29 years ago today. . .yours truly was at the tender age of five and not even aware of who or what the Minnesota Vikings were. Yours truly has only known the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome as the home of the Minnesota Vikings for the entire time I've been a fan, and I know that there are a lot of you out there that are in exactly the same boat. You never know. . .eventually the outdoor home game may become the rule rather than the exception in Minnesota, but for now. . .this is something big.
So, how do the Vikings go about winning this game?
1) Run the football - The snow is falling, the winds are blowing, and the ball is going to be hard as a rock. So, the key to tonight's game is going to be who can move the ball the best on the ground. The Vikings have this guy that you may have heard of named Adrian Peterson. . .he's pretty good. If the Vikings are going to win this game tonight, they need to establish Peterson and Toby Gerhart early and often.
2) Special teams need to be great - This is, in all likelihood, going to be a very low-scoring game, and that means that every little mistake is going to be magnified. Punting the ball to Devin Hester, even on a slow track like this one? That would, in all likelihood, qualify as a mistake. Hester broke out of a funk against the Vikings at Soldier Field, and it's up to our good friend Warcraft and his band of merry kick coverage specialists to make sure it doesn't happen again.
3) Don't get psyched out by the weather - Remember, the Bears played in crappy weather. . .supposed "Bear weather". . .last week against the Patriots at Soldier Field. They got their heads beaten in to the tune of 36-7. The fact that the Vikings aren't used to playing in the elements doesn't automatically mean that they're at a disadvantage, and they need to keep that in mind as they prepare themselves for tonight's festivities.
We're about an hour and a half away from kickoff, folks. . .the inactive lists are going to be out here very shortly. In the meantime, let's sit back and enjoy this very, very special night of football.