Could it really be that simple?
At Wednesday's press conference, Brad Johnson shared the secret to beating the Bears – don't fall behind. While that may sound tongue-in-cheek, the fact is that he's right. When the Bears have mauled opponents, it has been because they are able to get turnovers and a double-digit lead early. The longer a team stays with the Bears, the more they seem to struggle.
"When you watch the games that they've dominated, they've created turnovers early in games," Johnson said. "They got up by seven points, 10 points, and finished with a frenzy. The teams that have played them close – Arizona, (Minnesota), Miami, New England – did not give them the game in the first quarter. You have to extend the game. These guys are ball-hawking players; they're stripping the ball at all times. They make the tackle but they got their hands in there trying to strip the ball at all times. They've created so many turnovers that they've either scored on, or they've given the offense a short field to play on, and that's why they've scored so many points. But when they get turnovers, they are a frenzy type of defense and they've got the ball-hawkers to do that."
Hopefully the rest of the Vikings can heed Johnson's simple advice to beating the NFC-best Bears – just don't fall behind and everything will be fine.
* Jermaine Wiggins sat out practice Thursday with a knee injury. He is listed as questionable for Sunday's game.
* Rex Grossman offered a half-hearted apology Wednesday when asked about his trash-talking to Vikings defenders. Grossman claimed the heat of the moment and the needling he had received from Vikings defenders led to his boisterous blow-up at the end of the Bears 19-16 win over the Vikings at the Metrodome earlier this year. Darren Sharper said it was one of the worst displays he'd ever seen.
* Artis Hicks returned to practice, but Brad Childress has made no announcement yet whether he or Marcus Johnson will reclaim their starting jobs or if the "Odd Couple" – former Giants teammates Jason Whittle and Mike Rosenthal – will keep the starting jobs this week.
* The weather could play a big factor Sunday, since the early forecast is calling for snow that could accumulate on the field as well as gusting winds.
* As reported here earlier this week, the Bears made if official Wednesday by signing former Vikings TE Richard Angulo to their practice squad.
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