The Chicago Bears are preparing for the Minnesota Vikings. For the Bears, a win improves their odds in the playoffs. Limping into the playoffs is not a recipe for success. For the Vikings, a loss ends their season, a win gets them a dance card.
The Chicago Bears are mentally calloused to take on the challenges as a team: Studying film, working hard in practice and getting ready to play the team they face. The Bears plan to stop the Vikings run so they will have to play one-dimensional. Mike Zimmer’s Minnesota Vikings have a very tough defense that is making news with three defensive players named to the Pro-Bowl. The Vikings have great defensive line that penetrates quickly and several versatile players. The Vikings defense is making headlines.
Harrison Smith is a Viking safety that has been named to four straight Pro Bowls. He is someone Zimmer likes to move around. Vikings Pro-Bowler linebacker Anthony Barr and defensive end Danielle Hunter will be a challenge for the Bears. Another Viking Pro-Bowler, receiver Adam Thielen is one of the best in the NFL and will be a lot of attention on Sunday.
Kevin Stafanski, the new Offensive Coordinator for the Vikings, has been making some changes that can help the running game. The Viking’s offensive line will have huge problems with the Bears defense and whether the Vikings can run, remains to be seen. The Bears defense is playing very well even when sudden change gets them back on the field. They tighten things up in the red zone.
Bears defensive coordinator, Vic Fangio talks about how the Bears play much better when they play with confidence. Bears players and coaching staff are working hard to make sure they have all the pieces to go well into the playoffs this year. They want to do well for the team not just for themselves. Fangio says, “Great teams have great teammates.”
The Bears have to play hard and adapt to the game–the offense has to respond to how the opposing defense plays. If the Viking defense focuses more on stopping Tarik Cohen, other Bears will get more opportunity. Mitchell Trubisky is making improvements each game, but for a young quarterback it can be a challenge. The variety that is being built into the Bears offense makes it more challenging in some ways, but it also spreads the responsibility around to many players.
Photo Credit: Joe Bielawa – https://www.flickr.com/photos/joebielawa/8260908313/in/set-72157632212729847 CC BY 2.0