Vikings-Bears Box Score (Yahoo!)
What is with the Vikings and the Metrodome?
The Vikes move to 6-1 at home and 1-5 on the road. This is an old story for the Vikings, who have frequently stunk on the road but defended the Dome well.
Despite how great the Vikes have played in Thunderdome, it may be a good thing that we'll be leaving it behind. The Vikes can't keep having such a wide discrepancy between their home and road performances. I don't see how the Metrodome causes this discrepancy (does the homefield advantage overrate the quality of the team, masking serious core problems so that the team doesn't try to fix those core problems? Does the team get so comfortable at home that they are extra-uncomfortable on the road? I'd answer both those questions in the negative, but I'll ask them anyway). But it's there, and it has been there a really long time.
The Vikes still can't pass.
The Viking offense reminds of an old wishbone team that hardly ever passes. Every pass completion for a first down, however routine it may be for other teams--a simple slant pass, for example--seems like an extraordinary accomplishment, something fans are expected to cheer extra hard for. Consider this: the Vikings had two interceptions for 100 return yards and a touchdown, and they had 11 completions for 91 yards, including just seven completions to wide receivers.
Overall, the pass defense won.
The Bears' passing game is interesting. The offensive line is bad, forcing them to a lot more scramble-around-then-chuck-it improvisational passing, and they lean hard on those gigantic, athletic wide receivers like Brandon Marshall. How do you defend Marshall on those underthrown/comeback/jump ball plays? It's difficult, and Marshall burned the Vikes often.
But...the Vikings forced 25 incompletions. The team had six pass deflections and two interceptions. Jay Cutler was sacked twice and harassed plenty. One interception return gave the Vikes first and goal at the five, the second gave them seven points.
The Bears aren't the same without Brian Urlacher.
This shouldn't be an excuse--the Vikes, after all, have only two skill position players that belong in NFL starting lineups, and one of them is out for the year--but Brian Urlacher makes that defense terrifying. Without him, it's hard to see how far they get.
The Vikes haven't beat the Bears since their first meeting of 2009 which, considering the course of the franchise since that time, was approximately seven millions years ago. And the Vikings are over .500 in December, also something to try and appreciate for what it is (I think 9-7 is within range).
So enjoy the week, fans: your Minnesota Vikings just beat the Bears to move to a winning record.