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reigning NFL MVP and author of three touchdowns last week, leads the Minnesota Vikings charge into new Soldier Field this weekend for an NFC North Division clash with the 1-0 Chicago Bears.
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The Bears opened their new home stadium in style with a hard fought victory over the highly-touted Cincinnati Bengals, 24-21.
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Despite employing four new starting offensive linemen, not to mention a coach in Jim Trestman making his NFL debut, the Bears rallied from an 11-point deficit for the victory.
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The brand-new line protected quarterback Jay Cutler to a tee, not allowing a sack all afternoon. They weren t nearly as successful when it came to run blocking. Bear starting tailback Matt Forte managed just 50 yards on 19 carries, and as a team the Bears finished with 81 yards on 26 attempts, an average of less than three yards per carry.
Things were looking bleak for Chicago when it fell behind 21-10 midway through the third quarter, but Cutler answered with a nine-play, 80-yard drive highlighted by tight end Martellus Bennet s 30-yard grab on third and long. After shaking off an interception, Fthe Bears got a fourth-and-one conversion run by Forte at the Bengal 27-yard line to set up a 19-yard touchdown pass from Cutler to Brandon Marshall to take the lead.
The Bears defense was even more impressive, racking up three interceptions in its first outing without retired all-Pro linebacker Brian Urlacher. Chicago picked off conservative Cincinnati quarterback Andy Dalton twice and held the Bengals to 63 yards rushing.
They ll have a lot more trouble doing that against Minnesota, with Peterson coming in off a 93-yard rushing game with two touchdowns on the ground and one on a reception. The talented back broke the first offensive play of the season for the Vikings for a 78-yard touchdown, but was largely stifled after that collecting just 15 yards on his last 17 carries.
The Vikings chances were greatly reduced by quarterback Christian Ponder, who was sacked three times and threw three interceptions. On the flip side of things, the Minnesota defense only got to Detroit quarterback Matthew Stafford one time and gave up 469 yards of offense. The Bears don t have the greatest offense around, but if Minnesota struggles to stop them the way they did against Detroit, it will not only be a long game, but also a long season for the Vikings.