Vikings-Bears game scout

With uncertain weather conditions, the Vikings and Bears may both rely on their running games more heavily. That might be even more true with the Vikings, as they could be starting rookie Joe Webb at quarterback.

Philadelphia Eagles (9-4) at New York Giants (9-4)
Cleveland Browns (5-8) at Cincinnati Bengals (2-11)
Washington Redskins (5-8) at Dallas Cowboys (4-9)
Jacksonville Jaguars (8-5) at Indianapolis Colts (7-6)
Kansas City Chiefs (8-5) at St. Louis Rams (6-7)
Buffalo Bills (3-10) at Miami Dolphins (7-6)
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Arizona Cardinals (4-9) at Carolina Panthers (1-12)
Detroit Lions (3-10) at Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-5)
New Orleans Saints (10-3) at Baltimore Ravens (9-4)
Atlanta Falcons (11-2) at Seattle Seahawks (6-7)
New York Jets (9-4) at Pittsburgh Steelers (10-3)
Denver Broncos (3-10) at Oakland Raiders (6-7)
Green Bay Packers (8-5) at New England Patriots (11-2)
Chicago Bears (9-4) at Minnesota Vikings (5-8)

Chicago Bears (9-4) at Minnesota Vikings (5-8)

KICKOFF: Monday, 8:30 p.m. ET
SURFACE: FieldTurf
TV: ESPN, Mike Tirico, Ron Jaworski, Jon Gruden, Michele Tafoya, Suzy Kolber


Bears QB Jay Cutler led a 27-13 victory over the Vikings at home in Week 10 by throwing for 237 yards and three touchdowns. The passing attack could be more unstable with the game moved outdoors to TCF Bank Stadium due to the collapse of the Metrodome's roof. And considering the Vikings' offensive issues, the Bears would be wise to lean as heavily as possible on their ground game and avoid turnovers due to their poor pass protection.

The Vikings' Adrian Peterson must also be prepared for a big workload with rookie QB Joe Webb, who threw his first NFL pass last week, starting for Brett Favre (shoulder).


  • The Bears have won six straight games that came immediately after losses of 20 or more points.

  • Newly signed Vikings QB Patrick Ramsey's last start came in Week 1 in 2005 in a 9-7 victory over Chicago for the Redskins.


  • If the Vikings play host to Monday's game outdoors, it will mark their first home game played in the elements since they closed Metropolitan Stadium in Bloomington, Minn., with a 10-6 loss to the Kansas City Chiefs on Dec. 20, 1981.

  • Both the Vikings' first regular-season home game in franchise history (Sept. 17, 1961) and the Vikings' final home game of the 50th season (Dec. 20, 2010) will be against the Bears.

  • Chris Kluwe can set the franchise record for the most games with a 50-yard punt. Kluwe has 68 career games with a 50-yarder, which is tied with Greg Coleman for the most in team history.

  • Adrian Peterson needs one rushing touchdown to tie the franchise record. Peterson has 51 rushing TDs in 58 games. He trails Chuck Foreman and Bill Brown.

  • Peterson can continue to go up the all-time NFL list for the most rushing yards in the first four seasons. He currently has 5,633 rushing yards, which ranks eighth. He trails Barry Sanders' 5,674 for seventh, Emmitt Smith's 5,699 for sixth and Jamal Lewis' 5,763 for fifth.

  • Peterson set a then-franchise record at Chicago on Oct. 14, 2007, when he rushed for 224 yards and tied a team mark with three rushing touchdowns. He also set a team record with 361 combined yards (224 rushing, nine receiving, 128 on kickoff returns) on the day.

  • Vikings interim coach Leslie Frazier will face his former team for the first time as a head coach. Frazier played cornerback for the Bears from 1981-86 and was a starter on their 1985 Super Bowl team.

  • The teams split their series in the 2008 and 2009 seasons. The Bears last swept the series in 2006, while the Vikings swept in 2007.


  • Long snapper Patrick Mannelly uses his experience on the golf course to make adjustments on the football field when dealing with severe winds such as the Bears experienced last Sunday at Soldier Field. The team could be facing similar conditions Monday night against the Vikings.

    "I like to get out there early, and I kind of equate it to golf," the 13-year veteran said. "If a guy's hitting a drive, and he's got to play the wind to get it in the middle of the fairway, how far left or right are you going to hit it? It's kind of the same thing with the snap, especially on a punt.

    "With the winds we had (Sunday), and like the Green Bay game in '07, you have to figure out how far outside of the (punter's) framework you're going to aim it, and then you have to play with it a little bit during pregame to figure that out. It's just getting out there early and just finding your target."

  • According to coaches' review of game film, backup defensive back Corey Graham leads the Bears with 19 special teams tackles. According to NFL statistics, Graham has 16 tackles, which is the most in the league.

    But special teams coordinator Dave Toub said there's more to Graham's game than making tackles.

    "He's playing at a Pro Bowl level," Toub said. "It's not only tackling, but his blocking. He gets his block every time, whether it's punt return or kick return. He's been great for us."

  • Midwest winter weather doesn't faze Israel Idonije, who grew up in Canada and played college football at Manitoba University.

    "I've played in some harsh weather; blizzards where you can't see any lines, anything at all," Idonije said. "But that's football in Winnipeg, Manitoba. I didn't think last Sunday was all that bad."

  • Thirteen-year veteran long snapper Patrick Mannelly was selected to the USA Football/NFL Players Association All-Fundamentals Team.

    Twenty-six players — 11 on offense, 11 on defense and four on special teams — were recognized for their sound technique.

    Since being drafted by the Bears in the sixth round in 1998 out of Duke, Mannelly has played in a franchise-record 202 games and been nearly flawless at his specialty.

    "He's the machine that makes the whole thing work for us," Bears special teams coordinator Dave Toub said, "the field-goal operation and the punt operation."

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