After opening the season with a comeback win over the Bengals last Sunday, the Bears will look to improve to 2-0 today when they host the Vikings (0-1) at Soldier Field.
With a victory, Marc Trestman would join Hall of Famer George Halas (1920) and Neill Armstrong (1978) as the only head coaches in Bears history to win their first two games.
|Matt Forte rushed for 85 yards on 13 carries last December in a loss to the Vikings.|
Last Sunday against the Bengals, the Bears were outgained 325-97 over the first two and a half quarters before outgaining Cincinnati 226-15 the rest of the way.
Jay Cutler completed 21 of 33 passes for 242 yards with two touchdowns, one interception and a 93.2 passer rating. Brandon Marshall caught eight passes for 104 yards and 1 TD, while Alshon Jeffery added five receptions for 42 yards. Matt Forte was limited to 50 yards on 19 carries.
Containing the NFL's reigning MVP will be a top priority for the Bears today. Adrian Peterson was already a perennial All-Pro before he earned MVP honors last season by rushing for 2,097 yards, the second most in NFL history. Remarkably, he accomplished the feat after tearing the ACL and MCL the previous Dec. 24 in a win over the Redskins
In 10 career games against the Bears, Peterson has rushed for an average of 108.5 yards and 14 total touchdowns. After being held to 85, 94, 51 and 39 yards by Chicago in four straight meetings from 2009-11, Peterson gashed the Bears for 108 and 154 yards in two games last year.
The Bears offense will have to contend with defensive end Jared Allen, who ranks second in the NFL among active players with 118 sacks. He set a Vikings team record with 22 in 2011, establishing the mark with 3.5 in the season finale against the Bears. Allen had 12 sacks last season and recorded one in last Sunday's opener versus the Lions.
Allen had 13 sacks in his first eight games against the Bears, but was blanked in two contests last season. Free agent acquisition Jermon Bushrod will be matched up against Allen. When Bushrod played for the Saints, he did not allow a sack to Allen in two games.
The Bears lost their last meeting to the Vikings 21-14 last Dec. 9 in Minnesota. Peterson rushed for a team-record 104 yards in the first quarter including two 1-yard touchdowns that gave the Vikings a 14-0 lead. Peterson raced 51 yards around right end on the game's first play from scrimmage.
For the Bears, Cutler completed 22 of 44 passes for 260 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions, Marshall caught 10 passes for 160 yards, and Forte rushed for 85 yards on 13 carries and added six receptions for 34 yards.
Cutler has played eight career games against the Vikings, throwing for 1,812 yards with 17 TDs, nine interceptions and a 91.7 passer rating. Forte has rushed for 628 yards and one TD on 153 carries and caught 27 passes for 162 yards and one TD in nine contests. Marshall has 36 receptions for 437 yards and two TDs in four games. Julius Peppers has eight sacks in 11 contests.
The Bears will look to protect Cutler as well as they did last Sunday against the Bengals when they did not allow a sack in a season opener for the first time since 1998 versus the Jaguars.