Bercich's Breakdown: Vikings Must Limit Turnovers Sunday

Posted Sep 13, 2013

Stats are for losers.  And as I learned this week, the saying still holds painfully true.  Thanks to my partner in the booth, Paul Allen, we discovered that in the last 10 contests held in Chicago, the Vikings are 1-9.  In those contests the Vikings have turned the ball over a stunning 12 times!  Overall we stand at -8 in turnover margin, thanks to a 4 day in 2007 where we saw Adrian Peterson rush for 224 yards and score three touchdowns. Despite his Herculean effort, the Vikings still needed a last second field goal to beat the Bears 34-31 (and I do recall someone setting the field goal up with a big kickoff return?…what was his name again?)  If this statistic continues to hold true, one could ask for the plus/minus at the end of this weekend’s game and determine the winner from there….


Will this year be the same?

Will history repeat itself this year, or will it only rhyme? Let us take a quick peek at (dare I say) more stats. The Bears picked up where they left off in this category vs. the Bengals last week. The Bears ended the day 2, with their defense causing three turnovers (two INTS and one fumble) resulting in two Chicago touchdown drives.  Cornerback Charles Tillman was responsible for both INTs, one of which was a thing of beauty and the other a straight up gift from A.J. Green. Tim Jennings forced and recovered the lone fumble. For Purple fans, we know the numbers vs. Detroit: 3 INTs for Ponder and one fumbled exchange resulting in a -3 day. Dark clouds are brewing….

Rays of Sunshine?

If we can look beyond the /- we can see light! There we can find many things which I think  bode well for our Purple. Jerome Simpson off his seven reception, 140 yard day will be facing a safety in Major Wright, who struggled mightily at times vs. the Bengals. It is up to him and Greg Jennings to exploit this Bears defense vertically. The Bears ran more zone blitzes vs. Cincinnati than I have seen in years, so those routes will be there. Julius Peppers only sometimes plays the run and Tim Jennings is not a physical corner. If AP is to have success, we need great blocking from our tight ends and we will need to stop Stephen Paea, who is a menace at inside tackle.

Offensively they stack up a bit like Detroit: a QB who can throw, one great wide receiver and a running back who is versatile. Cutler is cool under fire and when in trouble goes to his favorite target, Brandon Marshall. This Cutler-to-Marshall combo is one of the best in the League. The Bears spread Cincinnati out and relied on quick passes to negate the Bengals pass rush. The Bears offensive line (like Detroit’s) is inexperienced on the right side with rookies Kyle Long at guard and Jordan Mills at tackle. Roberto Garza is over 100 years old and is still doing the snapping, although he is playing more to his age.  Left Guard Matt Slauson is more of a road grater than a pass protector and left tackle Jermon Bushrod can be beaten on inside moves. That leaves us with Matt Forte. After watching the one-man highlight reel in Reggie Bush, something tells me he will be on the receiving end of some screen passes and routes out of the backfield. This fits in nicely with Marc Trestman’s one back sets Chicago now features. The Bears are without a viable option at fullback, so the days of the “Black and Blue” ground and pound appear to be over…

So are we headed for different ending in this the 11th chapter? If the Vikings can stay “positive” (remember last year Ponder went eight games without an INT and the Vikings went 7-1) and do what I have listed, Soldier Field will become the Land of Sunshine.

Stay tuned….