“Mush-Rush” Mitch And “Get Shorty”
In the Week 10 matchup against the Vikings, Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky made his entire offensive game about waiting until the Minnesota defensive line’s “contain” was broken, then he used his legs to get big gains and crucial first downs.
With two power defensive tackles and only Danielle Hunter as a true pass rushing threat (sorry, Griff, but you’re now an average defensive end), the Vikings will most likely only be able to force sacks with blitz schemes and solid coverage.
This is a superlative offensive line that Chicago has. Minnesota cannot let Trubisky slip out of the cracks it creates in the “after-pocket”.
The Vikings should pretend they’re playing Johnny Manziel or Marcus Mariota.
Bears head coach Nagy is a brainy guy. He’ll take the Vikings’ linebackers out of the picture and set up Trubisky to scamper. Those runs are demoralizing, Minnesota should be careful.
Utility back/receiver Tarik Cohen is the guy to watch on the Bears’ offense. Nagy has a nice platoon of receivers, but Cohen is his poor man’s Tyrek Hill. He’s a “gadget” big play waiting to happen.
Though the entire Vikings defense has to be aware of Cohen’s threat, Minnesota should be also fight fire with fire; pair Cohen with what has become their best utility defender, Mackensie Alexander. Mike Zimmer has enjoyed brilliant play from his third-year corner in 2018 and he has used him in everything from man coverage to blitz packages.
The Bears’ primary running back is a fraud. Jordan Howard ran for 1,313 yards as a rookie, averaging 5.2 yards a carry. In 2017, those numbers fell to 1,122 yards and 4.1 yards per attempt. This season, he’s down to just 826 yards and 3.6 yards per carry.
The guy gets tripped up by long leaves of grass. He’s out of power at the ripe age of 24.
Minnesota just needs to hold down Trubisky and Cohen and let their secondary handle the Chicago receiving corps. Not exactly a pack of Pro Bowlers there.
Minnesota doesn’t have all the answers, but they have some. The sharpest point to be made is that it will take the team to win. And it will really have to happen on the offensive side of the ball.
Zimmer’s defense won’t blow this game. It’s got to be extremely difficult for a team to actualize in the last week of a regular season, but that’s what the Vikings need to do.
Maybe it’s even harder to win when all the pressure’s on you. But if Viking fans have a Christmas wish left to make, it’s clearly one that keeps the chores and goals on hold and gives them something to cheer about next week.