Dennis Green is a confident coach, but is rarely overconfident. There are things about the Chicago Bears that make him a little nervous -- history and the new additions to the Bear defense.
The Vikings, it seems, always struggle against the Bears. In their five consecutive wins over Chicago at the Soldier Field, three have come by three points (one in overtime), one by six points and the team's 12-point win last year came only after falling behind by nine points.
While the Bears tend to bring a strong game to the Vikings consistently, what is different this year is that the Bears have bought a new defensive front in hopes of stuffing the running game. DT's Ted Washington and Keith Traylor were both signed as free agents and are expected to give the Bears an up-front force.
Despite losing 17-6 to the Ravens in Week One, the Bears had the measure of the Baltimore offense and shut down RB Terry Allen all day long. While Green expects to do a lot of passing, he doesn't want to be forced into it and the Bears new-look defensive front could make that a reality.
* In a correction to an earlier story, VU would like to urge Vikings fans to participate in a promotion by Campbell's Soup to give away 5 million cans of soup to hungry families at local foodshelves. When we gave the address for the website, we didn't give underscoring between the words of part of the site. The correct site reads http://www.chunky.com/click_for_cans.asp As of this weekend, the Vikings are second in the voting -- far behind the (ugh) Packers. Please help out and click on the Campbell's site daily and help support the Vikings and hungry kids who can get some free soup in the process.
* The Vikings may face weather-related problems. Rain is expected today in Chicago, which could derail some of the offensive plans for the team.
* Kick returner Nate Jacquet plans to appeal the $5,000 fine levied by the NFL for a taunting incident during the Carolina game. Jacquet, who was penalized on the play, said he was goaded into the penalty, which he also disputed, and indicated he won't take the fine lying down.
* On the list of the teams facing the best and worst salary cap situations with players under contract for the 2002 season, the Vikings didn't appear in the 10 worst (or 10 best). The worst is Jacksonville, which is said to already by $24 million over the 2002 cap, while the best is Arizona, which, at the moment, is said to be $27.6 million under the 2002 cap.
* Shane Matthews may have to try to air out the ball a little more. In Week One, he completed 24 passes, but they gained just 138 yards -- less than six yards per completed pass.
* Randy Moss has averaged six catches for 99 yards and a touchdown in his six career games vs. the Bears.
Green Impressed With Bears Defense
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