Right Wing Nut House



Filed under: CHICAGO BEARS — Rick Moran @ 10:32 am

With last week’s Division clinching victory against the hated Packers, the Bears will be forgiven if they slack off a bit this week in their game against the Vikings at the Humpdome. Relieved of the prospect of playing in the frigid confines of Soldiers Field, the Bears will be thinking they never had it so good and relax just enough to allow the Vikings to make a real game of it.

Of course, other factors come into play for this last regular season game for both clubs. The Vikings are out of the playoffs and the future of their quirky coach Mike Tice is up in the air. In fact, the Vikes could be looking at a wholesale changes next year as this group of miscreants and malcontents has worn very thin on the Viking faithful. From Tice’s Super Bowl ticket hawking to sex parties aboard a private yacht, the current group of players and coaches could find themselves enjoying much different climes come next year.

That doesn’t solve the Vikes problem of building a winning team. It’s generally believed that there are perhaps only two or three decent candidates for head coaching positions (the Bear’s defensive coordinator Ron Rivera being one of them) and given that there will be other, more glamorous venues looking for a new coach, it is doubtful that the Vikes will be able to lasso a good defensive or offensive coordinator or a “name” head coach in the off season.

As for the rest, they obviously have to build an offense around Daunte Culpepper who misses Randy Moss terribly but whose undeniable talent could be complimented by the right supporting cast. And while they have some holes on defense - a good cover corner and an impact player on the D-Line come to mind - their offense is still one of the best in the NFC. In fact, looking at the team at the start of the year, one wonders why they failed to make the playoffs. Distractions may have played a part in the early going which only goes to show the importance of having a head coach with the character to be able to bring the team together during adversity. Tice did that in the second half but one could question his overall leadership in contributing to the controversies in the first place.

As for my beloveds, they are a bruised and battered bunch. No less than 8 Bears are listed as “Questionable” for the game as of Friday with another 5 players “Probable.” Given that Chicago has a first round bye in the playoffs, it would not surprise anyone if coach Lovie Smith rested most of those injured including Pro-Bowl center Olin Kruetz (ankle), Pro-Bowl MLB Urlacher (the Flu), RB Thomas Jones (hip), and WR Mushin Muhommed (calf). The holding out of Kruetz would indicate that quarterback Rex “The Wonder Dog” Grossman would probably only play a few series, perhaps one half of the game only. No sense in exposing Wonder Dog to the ravages of the Minnesota pass rush and risk an injury.

That said, it would be nice if Rex could get a few reps with his starting receivers under game conditions so that the offense will have a chance to excel come playoff time. Since their first round opponent could very well be either the Redskins or Carolina, Grossman will need to be pinpoint in his accuracy against both of those opportunistic defensive backfields. In the playoffs, mistakes must be kept to an absolute minimum and having Wonder Dog throwing the ball to opposing D-Backs instead of his receivers who cut the wrong way or who stopped when they should have kept running would spell disaster.

I fully expect a Bear’s loss today although their defense is so deep and talented it should be a very low scoring affair. And perhaps the defense can score some points which would offset any offensive futility generated by rookie Orton who is expected to get most of the playing time. How the Vikings will play under the circumstances surrounding the team is open to question. They could come out and play for pride or they could fold up shop and head for the golf course.

Prediction: Vikes - 17 Bears - 13


  1. Well, the Packers season may be over, but, and I say this with love, The Bears still Suck! LOL
    Good luck in the play offs.

    Comment by William Clement — 1/2/2006 @ 5:41 pm

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