Blogs & Opinion

Bearing up nicely

Kevin Cadle Posted 12th September 2013 view comments

The first part of our live Sunday double header is the NFC North showdown at Soldier Field.

The Bears came from behind to snatch a late victory over Cincinnati in week one, while the Vikings - who made the play-offs last year as a wildcard - went down on the road in Detroit.

Our NFL anchorman Kevin Cadle previews the game and makes his prediction.

Jay Cutler is into his fifth season as the starting quarterback in Chicago

Jay Cutler is into his fifth season as the starting quarterback in Chicago

Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears - Sky Sports HD2 from 5.30pm

If either of these teams turns out to be the real deal this season it will be the Bears because, in Jay Cutler, they have the better quarterback.

Last season's 10-6 mark saw Chicago miss out on the post-season and was followed by the exit of long-serving head coach Lovie Smith and retirement of linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Smith's replacement, Marc Trestman, has come from the Canadian Football League. He spent much of his early coaching career as a quarterback specialist and was brought in with the intention of getting the best out of Cutler.

A much-needed upgrade to the offensive line has already started to pay off; Cutler enjoyed a clean pocket and wasn't sacked against the Bengals.

The Vikings are relying on Christian Ponder, who would be classed as a serviceable quarterback rather than a potential star.

They showed last season that it is possible to win with Ponder, who improved his passing completion by eight per cent compared with his rookie year, plus it always helps when you can hand off the ball to All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson.

The Bears defence has been excellent for a long time. Urlacher is gone but it still looks an impressive unit capable of consistently forcing turnovers, they will enjoy the chance to get after Ponder.

Kev's call: This game will come down to Chicago's defence keeping Peterson under control and the offence taking care of the football when they have it. I think the Bears are the better team overall and like their chances in this one.

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