Originally posted on The Sports Bank  |  Last updated 9/11/13
The Chicago Bears (and Minnesota Vikings) season is now here. Now we have actual football to talk about, not just football punditocracy. In the longest and most anticipated Chicago Bears off-season in history, we spent the last six weeks quoting NFL pundits and over-analyzing what NFL talking heads have had to say.  Grab a sick bag, I’m about to make you vomit with these catch-phrases that we heard over and over and over again: “It all starts with the quarterback.” “It’s a quarterback driven league.” “Will Adrian Petersen break the rushing record?” “Will Adrian Petersen rush for 2,000 yards?”\ “It’s a passing league.” “He can make all the throws.” ENOUGH! let’s get to football! We have one week of games to dissect and analyze now. Plus we’re talking about Vikings QB Christian Ponder, which means we can post multiple pictures of his wife, ESPN personality Samantha Ponder. Chicago Bears vs Minnesota Vikings TV: Fox Noon CST Sun Spread: Chicago Bears -6 Chicago Bears analysis: What was up with the Bears DL last week? They shut down the Bengals run game, limiting them to just three yards a carry. Yet their pass rush was non-existent. To perform that well in one major area, and that poorly in the other major area…kind of bizarre. As I predicted, they forced turnovers again, winning the TO battle in order to make the difference between winning and losing.  That’s how Chicago won a game in which they were out-gained by Cincinnati. That won’t happen again. AP won’t be limited to 14 carries, 25 yards like Law Firm was this past Sunday. The OL protected Jay Cutler decently. He was harassed, but only sacked once. And that’s a great Bengals front. Twitter deemed Peanut Tillman a Hall of Famer on Sunday. Actually Twitter decided that Peanut Tillman is the greatest CB in history. Charles Tillman’s worst game was now assessed as better than Deion $anders and Rod Woodson’s best games ever. Combined. You know how I said we’d avoid the NFL punditocracy? Well, I lied. ESPN national figure Mike Greenberg weighs in. (Read my exclusive with Greeny here)     “I’m a believer, I have had log conversations with Steve Young about Trestman, and if you’ve eve heard him talk about Trestman, you’d have a very favorable of Trestman. And I think it is almost a perfect storm of circumstances coming together with a quarterback guru to work with Cutler in a year when they got him a little more help as far as weapons, a  lot more help as far as protection. And he’s in a contract year, so the stars are kind of aligned for him to have the year that I have felt he’s long capable of. “And if he doesn’t do it now, then even I who is his last supporter, or I feel like I’m his last supporter, will say it’s never going to happen. I think he’s been capable of being a top flight NFL quarterback, and I think this is the year it’s finally going to happen,” said Greenberg. Obviously, he thinks higher of Jay than Boomer Esiason does. Cutler looked like a top 10 QB most of the game. On that pick, he loved like only a top 25. However, top 25 in both the AP and the Coaches poll. Minnesota Vikings analysis: Christian Ponder is a top 28 QB in the NFL. Solid top 30 for sure. I mean you’d love to have him over Josh Freeman, Blaine Gabbert, and……and……*crickets chirping* Christian Ponder is getting as unpleasant to watch as Samantha Ponder is enjoyable to watch. Rich Gannon on Ponder and the Vikings in the preseason: “The whole talk this offseason has been about Christian Ponder. There’s not a day goes by that I don’t get asked about Ponder,” Gannon said to me during our exclusive on NFL on CBS Media Day. “They have the greatest running back in football, a Pro Bowl fullback, an offensive line that played together every game last year. They got him some help at wide receiver with Patterson and Jennings, and we’re going to find out whether or not Christian can take the next stop up in year three,” the 2002 NFL MVP said. (read the whole interview here) As for that greatest running back in football, and I agree he is, but he looked like it for….one carry! Take away that 78 yard TD run and he had just 17 carries for 15 yards. OUCH! And that was against the Detroit Lions defense! Apparently, the Lions young and talented DL filled with high draft picks is starting to play up to its potential. Brutally Honest pick (brutally honest record 46-21): Chicago Bears 23, Minnesota Vikings 20. I got this one quite close last week. I said Bears 21-17. And the final was 24-20. I likely won’t be that close again. I totally think this matchup will see the Chicago Bears win at Soldier, the Vikings up at the Metrodome. Entering the preseason, this was considered the battle for NFC North second place. Every pundit picked Green Bay to win the division, most had the Vikings second, but a substantial, yet smaller number believed the Bears to be #2. You had some outliers, like Gannon himself actually, who said watch out for Detroit. So far they were right about the Lions. Chicago Bears take this one. They’ll play sloppy, Cutler will turn it over, but still play well enough to lead them to victory in the end. Catch me every Friday at 7:30 AM CDT talking Chicago Bears on WAOR 95.7 The Fan, Michiana’s home for Bears football Paul M. Banks is the owner of The Sports Bank.net, an affiliate of Fox Sports. An analyst for 95.7 The Fan, he also writes on Chicago sports media for Chicago Now. President Obama follows him on Twitter (@paulmbanks) The post Brutally Honest Preview: Chicago Bears vs Minnesota Vikings appeared first on The Sports Bank.Net.
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