Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 9/14/13
Bears_cutler_passes_4233
The (0-1) Minnesota Vikings head to the “Windy City” to take on the (1-0) Chicago Bears in week two action. The Vikings looked like a team with no wins in their week one defeat against the Detroit Lions. They were outscored in the second half 21-10, making the final score, 34-24. The Chicago Bears won their first ball game against the Cincinnati Bengals, 24-21. They look to continue their winning efforts at home against the unraveling Vikings. Jay Cutler. (Getty Images) The big storyline in this game: Jay Cutler against this Vikings defense. Cutler has notably torched the Minnesota secondary with a 5-1 record in his past six starts. For the Vikings secondary, it will be very important to step up and make some plays in coverage while coming up and securing tackles in run defense. The defense last week gave up many big plays to Detroit due to a host of missed tackles. Tackling will be key in this divisional match up. The return of Vikings defensive tackle Kevin Williams hopefully should help the team’s defense against the run, which in turn helps the secondary specifically worry about coverage. I expect the Bears to throw in a large amount of screens to their game-plan against the Vikings. I also expect the Bears offense to try and exploit Minnesota’s miss-tackling. Reggie Bush proved last week that running screen plays out of the back field can beat the Vikings. With a great back like Matt Forte, the Vikings defense will have a hard time stopping the Bears offense out of the backfield and in the air down field. You can never count the Minnesota Vikings out when Adrian Peterson is on the field. He started his 2013 season with a 78-yard touchdown run. Watch how the Vikings offense relies heavily on Peterson and the play action pass to get Ponder’s offense rolling. The offense needs to get back in sync and convert on more third downs if they have hopes of getting back to .500. Christian Ponder. (REUTERS/Rebecca Cook) The x-factor in this game: Christian Ponder. Will he be able to keep up with Jay Cutler and the Bears offense? Ponder threw 3 interceptions last week against Detroit. He was unable to keep the offense moving on crucial third downs including an INT to put the game out of reach. Peterson can help by making some big plays on early downs to keep the 3rd downs shorter for Ponder. It will be important for the Vikings to set themselves up with more 3rd-&-3 or 3rd-&-2 situations if they want Ponder to have the best chance to convert with his legs or through the air. I think Ponder will rely heavily on Kyle Rudolph in the play-action game as well. Player to Watch: Jerome Simpson. He had 7 catches for 140 yards last week against Detroit. Will he duplicate his performance and finally become the weapon the team thought they had when they picked him up? This could be the game that wakes up Jerome Simpson for a breakout season. This is a crucial game for the Minnesota Vikings. Going 0-2 to start the season statistically gives the Vikings a 12% chance to make the playoffs. It’s easy for many to say there are a lot of season left to play and anything can happen. However, I honestly believe this game is more important because it is a divisional game. Starting the season 0-2 in the division is worse than starting the season 0-3 against opponents outside your division. It should be another physical game by both squads. My pick: Vikings (24-21) Take Our Poll  
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Adrian Peterson accused of fathering another child out of wedlock

Robert Griffin III liked fan’s Instagram post trashing Redskins

Report: Tom Brady may have been ‘open’ to one-game suspension

Fenway Park staff reportedly confiscating Don Orsillo signs

Clippers’ owner Steve Ballmer betting on himself

Titans' Marcus Mariota: ‘Statistics don’t matter to me’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

FSU names Everett Golson starting QB for 2015

UCLA's Adams arrested for suspicion of felony robbery

AJ Green heading for contract stalemate with Bengals?

Report: NFL offered to cut Brady suspension to 3 games

Report: Tristan Thompson won’t take below max from Cavs

Most surprising developments from 2015 NFL preseason

Herschel Walker supports Trump’s candidacy for president

WATCH: Kevin Kiermaier robs Manny Machado home run shot

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Caroline Wozniacki smoking on cover of ‘Rhapsody’ magazine

Could Robert Griffin III be the NFL’s next Steve Young?

Spurrier: SEC fans right to be upset with Ohio State's schedule

Report: 'Deranged' fan shot outside WWE building

Report: Brady convinced Harbaugh to return to Michigan

Ronda Rousey gets Venice mural from artist Jonas Never

Redskins TE wants to know who's leaking stories to ESPN

WWE superstar's girlfriend fired over Nazi Instagram posts

Madison Bumgarner has once again put Giants on his back

NFL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Four most surprising roster cuts from NFL teams

Raiders cut Trent Richardson

Caroline Wozniacki smoking cover of ‘Rhapsody’

Everett Golson named FSU's starting QB

Urban Meyer won't announce QB before season

Teammates relieved RG3 was benched?

Five NFL teams that should trade for Robert Griffin III

10 takeaways from Week 3 of the NFL preseason

Cubs' Jake Arrieta no-hits the Dodgers

Chicago Bears release Tim Jennings

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker