Leslie Frazier and his players have different theories on what happened in Chicago.
There's no rift between coach Leslie Frazier and his players, but they definitely aren't on the same page when it comes to explaining Sunday night's 39-10 loss at Chicago.
After the game, several players said the Bears made strategic changes from the week before, when they were beaten in Detroit. Specifically, players discussed how the Bears shifted to more max-protection schemes with two-receiver routes, which gave Jay Cutler
by far his best protection of the past two seasons.
Frazier, meanwhile, said it was just a matter of the Vikings players not playing the way they have, especially in a win against the Cardinals the week before.
"I didn't see a lack of effort, but we were not nearly as physical up front, on either the offensive or defensive line, as we needed to be, and that is unexplainable," Frazier said. "That's what we pride ourselves on, our O-line and our D-line, being the driving force that drives our defense and we were not the most physical group out there (Sunday night) and that is a concern."
Frazier also said the players "didn't seem to handle the prosperity very well" coming off the Cardinals game.
"We didn't go out there with the type of energy and focus that you have to play with on the road against an opponent in your division," Frazier said. "And that comes back to me."
Defensive end Jared Allen
disagreed that the players don't know how to handle prosperity.
"You can sit here and throw out all these theories that you want," Allen said. "But the bottom line is there are a lot of the same guys here who went 12-4 two years ago. Same guys that went 10-6 (in 2008). Guys know how to win. It's a problem of doing it every day and doing it every play. We don't walk around here like, 'Oh, we beat the Arizona Cardinals
, we've arrived.' Nah. Guys are humble in this locker room."
The Bears are figuring out what it takes to stop running back Adrian Peterson.
The All-Pro running back went into the game averaging 112 yards per game in seven meetings against the Bears. That includes a 224-yard effort in the first meeting back in 2007.
The Bears, however, have held Peterson to fewer than 100 yards in each of the past four meetings. Sunday, he had just 39 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries (3.3).
Peterson said it's not frustrating to face continuous eight- and nine-man fronts, like the Bears showed him all night long.
"It comes with the territory," Peterson said. "I know they're going to focus on stopping the run."
Peterson also said Sunday's loss was worse than blowing double-digit halftime leads in each of the first three weeks.
"It's always hard to lose when you're up," he said. "But to get dominated like we did (Sunday), in all phases, I would say it hurts a little more."
RB Toby Gerhart hasn't been effective since the first couple weeks of the season. In his limited duty, he isn't moving the pile or creating much when he catches the ball out of the backfield.
TE Kyle Rudolph has the hands and the athleticism to catch balls that are thrown off-target. Those are good skills to have with the way McNabb is throwing now. With more accurate throws, Rudolph could also put his speed, which is good for a tight end, to use.
WR Bernard Berrian caught five passes against the Bears after catching only two coming into the game. The five catches came a week after Berrian was deactivated against Arizona for missing two team meetings. Berrian, however, had a bad drop on third-and-five early in the game. That contributed to the Vikings falling behind early and not being able to come back.
WR Greg Camarillo, lost in the shuffle since CB Marcus Sherels won the punt return job before the season, caught his first pass of the season against Chicago. The veteran had been inactive for three consecutive weeks before the Arizona game.
OT Pat Brown, a second-year player who has never started an NFL game, will get increased reps in practice this week. Starting right tackle Phil Loadholt has knee tendinitis and a bruise that kept him out of most of the second half of the Bears game. He's expected to play Sunday, but should be limited in practice.
C Joe Berger also will be given extra reps in practice. Starting center John Sullivan suffered a concussion against the Bears and will have to pass the league-mandated medical exam before he can return to practice.
SS Tyrell Johnson, who lost the starting job right before the start of the regular season, could get his first start of the season. Starter Jamarca Sanford suffered a concussion against the Bears.
DE Brian Robison, a backup the past four seasons, is proving worthy of being a starter. He's been sturdy against the run and has already matched his career high in sacks with 4.5.
CB Antoine Winfield's strained neck is getting better. He hasn't played or practiced since getting injured against the Chiefs on Oct. 2. He could return to practice on a limited basis this week.