The Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings squared off two weeks at Soldier Field. The Bears came away with the 28-10 victory, while they contained the Vikings passing attack.
Vikings QB Christian Ponder completed just 22 of 43 passes for 159 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He was sacked two times.
The Vikings passing attack was ineffective. The Bears did a solid job at rattling him at times in the Week 12 NFC North matchup.
However, the Bears need to generate more sacks and pressure from their defensive line because they haven’t been getting the production they like to see from their defensive line as of late.
The Bears’ defense currently ranks eighth in the NFL with 32 sacks on the season. They have produced 20 interceptions, 19 forced fumbles and 14 fumble recoveries.
Led by DE Julius Peppers (seven sacks) and DT Henry Melton (six sacks), the Bears’ defensive line has been successful at times this season. Israel Idonije and Corey Wootton have combined for 10 sacks as well.
Consistent pressure will only lead to good things for this defense. They strive off of pressure and when they fail to get that pressure it makes it tough on the back end for young safeties Chris Conte and Major Wright.
The Bears’ passing defense ranks seventh in the league allowing 216.2 yards per game. They forced two turnovers of QB Christian Ponder in Week 12 (one interception and one fumble) and one turnover of RB Adrian Peterson (one fumble).
Without WR Percy Harvin, the Vikings will certainly struggle to put together a solid performance in the passing game.
Adrian Peterson will be counted on to run the ball consistently like he has all season long. He averaged six yards per carry against the Bears in Week 12, when he ran 18 times for 108 yards.
The Bears’ defense will be playing to force Ponder to make plays with his arm, while they stack the box often to stop Peterson. With a consistent pass rush, the Bears’ defense can shut down both Ponder and Peterson.
The Vikings’ offense certainly seems one dimensional without Harvin, but if the Bears’ defense can’t generate a solid pass rush Ponder could beat them often.
Shutting down Ponder and the Vikings passing game will make everything easier for the Bears on defense on Sunday.