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There were some great plays by cornerback Charles Tillman and Tim Jennings on defense and the offense managed to keep QB Jay Cutler off his back.
But how does a team like the Chicago Bears come out with a new offense and a struggling defense hold RB Adrian Peterson and the Minnesota Vikings at bay?
The Bears and the Vikings have had a long standing rivalry. But the signature moment to Sunday’s game will be on how well Coach Marc Trestman’s offense will hold against a one-man offense in Peterson.
1. Adrian Peterson appears to be The Flash, but like all superheroes, he can be stopped.
Though Peterson took his first carry last week for a 78-yard touchdown, I guarantee the Bears will double team him as much as possible. Watch for defensive coordinator Mel Tucker to assign tight run defense on Peterson and hold him to less than a hundred rushing yards. Peterson can get out of all sorts of tackles, so throwing in LB John “Boom” Bostic in the mix can’t hurt.
This will force QB Christian Ponder to throw the ball to WR Greg Jennings or Cordarrelle Patterson and we all know that Tillman and Jennings will be all over that.
2. Jared Allen will not be able to penetrate the middle against a monster wall.
With the shoring up of the left and right tackle positions, LB Jared Allen will not be able to get Cutler on the ground. Cutler will again avoid sacks and will move around the pocket with quick releases and field advantage. He will throw for more than 200 yards in this game and 3 touchdowns.
RB Matt Forte will rush for over a hundred yards. The offense will give him more running room and OC Aaron Kromer will use FB Tony Flammetta as Forte’s front man. Trestman will also use two running backs to throw off the Viking’s defense.
3. The Viking turnovers will leave Coach Leslie Frazier scratching his head.
The turnover that will have Frazier scratching his head will be from his star running back Peterson. Tillman will find a way to hit him with a “Peanut Punch” and will run it in for a Chicago touchdown. The Bears defense will pick apart Ponder, putting pressure on him and forcing him to throw carelessly into the hands of LB Lance Briggs or SS Major Wright.
The Bears defense will do everything in their power to save another win at home. They will need to hold a military stance in the goal line to keep Peterson from penetrating the line. By beating another playoff team at home will ensure that the Bears are the real deal.
4. Devin Hester will finally run a kick return for a touchdown.
Every prediction should somehow include a Hester return for a touchdown. He has been itching for this for the past several years and he needs the help of special teams to make it happen. Hester will finally figure out that he can actually run around the players and not necessarily through them in order to make a touchdown. It will be like an epiphany as the heavens open and he sees a clear path. This one return will motivate him for more throughout the year. I still hold hope for Hester’s return game.