In: NFL Free Picks16 Oct 2011
Chris Hodge, Free Picks Newsletter Editor
252-150-3 of last 405
NFL: Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears (-3); Over/Under (O/U 43u -110)
Jay Cutler had better put on his dancing shoes for tonight’s game against the Vikings, because he’ll likely need them to avoid an onslaught of pressure for four solid quarters.
Cutler has been sacked 18 times this season, and he’s narrowly escaped a few dozen other plays that could have easily become another sack stat. If there is anything the Minnesota Vikings do well, it’s get after opposing quarterbacks.
The Vikings defense is second in the NFL with 16 sacks. They are also fourth in the NFL in fewest rushing yards allowed per game allowing an average of just 76 yards per outing.
They’ll be keyed in on Matt Forte and Cutler, forcing the Bears to put the ball into the air and testing Cutler’s ability to improvise and move the ball downfield while running for his life.
The Vikings secondary is most certainly their weakness on defense. However, with the Bears’ inability to protect Cutler in the pocket, this weakness will be difficult to exploit for the Bears.
Surprisingly the Bears have been susceptible to the run this year, which is problematic when the opposing running back is named Adrian Peterson and he’s picking up nearly five yards per carry for the year.
The Vikes picked up their first win last week, and have gotten that monkey off of their backs. The Bears offense looked horrible against the Lions last week. They were so out of sync, they accumulated six false-start penalties.
They’ll be even more nervous up front today.
Everything is in place for the Vikings to pick up their second win of the year, so long as Donovan McNabb can manage the game without giving the ball away on turnovers.
Pick: Take the Minnesota Vikings (+3)