Game Comments: Bears at Vikings
- The Bears came out with 8 in the box on first down and stuck with their base package for much of the game. Its seemed evident that they were determined to stop the run.
- Problems with gap discipline once again popped up and resulted in some big Viking runs. Its very disappointing that this hasn't been cleaned up. I'm going to lay most of the blame on the linebackers and safety Craig Steltz.
- The defensive line, on the other hand, came to play. The pass rush was quite good. I could, perhaps, have asked for more penetration agains the run.
- Julius Peppers stood out with a good effort.
- Jon Bostic did not. He's still over playing the ball and, as a result, he's having a tough time getting off of blocks.
- Third quarter. The Bears stop the Vikings about half a yard short of the goal line. Instead of refusing a Viking holding penalty, Bears head coach Marc Trestman choose to accept it, setting up a third and eleven instead of fourth and less than a yard. He obviously feared that the Vikings would go for fourth down and, even worse, feared that they'd score on it. That tells you where he's at with the defense right now.
- The majority of the passes are still going Zack Bowman's way. I won't say that he held up poorly but Jerome Simpson burned him all day.
- I'd still like to see this defense do better on third down. It just seemed like they gave up play after play when they needed a stop.
- The Vikings also came out determined to stop Matt Forte and frequently stacked the box. Like the Bears, they weren't entirely successfulas Forte had a reasonably good day.
- They threw in a few different twists, however. They seemed to like the delayed blitz with their linebackers and, when they weren't doing that, they were dropping into coverage in n effort to ake away the middle of the field from Bears quarterback Josh McCown. McCown doesn't have a tremendous amount of arms strength and he's not as comfortable throwing outside the numbers. It was a good plan.
- McCown really struggled with his accuracy today. Een some of th eballs that were caught wern't well thrown.
- Both Alshon Jeffery and Brandon Marshall had their usual stellar games. There's no way that Jeffery should have been in single coverage with no help over the top on the third quarter touchdown. I can only assume that the safety was very late getting over or Vikings defensive back Chris Cook was playing Jeffery too close. Jeffery also made an unbelievable catch for his second touchdown in that quarter.
- Just as I was wondering whatever happened to sending Forte out into a pattern, the Bears did it near the end of the third quarter. Good call.
- Despite Matt Forte's success, I still thought the Vikings got too much penetration and got too much pressure on McCown too often. I'd like to see better.
- I watched this at a Buffalo Wild Wings in Missouri. All I can say is that if you took the Bears fans and the (obnoxious) Vikings fans out of the middle of the room, it would have been half empty of football enthusiasts.
- Bad job by the FOX crew for not getting a replay of the pass interference against Martellus Bennett and the personal foul on Brandon Marshall, both on the same play and both disputed by Bears players.
- I understand that Corderrelle Patterson is very talented and very dangerous. But does he really call for pooch kickoffs? Am I the only one who thinks that Devin Hester should be able to beat the licker on his own on a return?
- Both teams had too many penalties (again). A pass interference n Martellus Bennett eliminated a first down. Jon Bostic gots a debatable (but still stupid) taunting penalty which was extremely costly in the fourth quarter, giving the Vikings a fresh set of downs near the Bears goal line. The Vikings had an interception with was nullified by an offsides penalty. And, of course, they had a fask mask in overtime that cost them a game winning field goal. How would you like to be a Vikings fan watching Chris Cook contacting an official? That will be a well deserved suspension.
- The game was relativley clean of drops.
- Josh McCown lost an extremely costly turnover deep in Bears teritory in the fourth quarter as he tried to throw a desparate shuffle pass while going to the ground. Fortunatley he was bailed out by a Khaseem Greene interception.
- You got the feeling going into this game that it was going to be a defining moment in the season. You could sense the urgency as even Pro Bowl linebacker Lance Briggs broke the relative silence he has maintained since his injury. Both he and members of the media called out the defense for not showing heart and, if its not quite on target, I'd say calling them out for having a lack of brains and discipline isn't much better. Unfortunately, playing with more urgency doesn't necessarily equate to playing a lot better. In this case, though they weren't as bad as last week, many of the Bears problems persist. These include too many penalties, poor run defense and a certain degree of trouble on the offensive line. Perhaps you could call this incremental progress. But I was still disappointed to see the Bears lose to a team so decidedly inferior to their own in a contest they so badly needed to win.