4 Bears Minnesota must tame: Cutler, Marshall, Forte, Peppers and their Vikings history


We should've started doing this last week, a season opening 34-24 loss for the Vikings to Detroit, but our brains don't work so fast.

So here's another feature we'll do weekly as part of a breakdown of the Vikings opponent, this week it's the Bears: The stars The Purple need to stop based off history, and the stats that show how they've torched Minnesota in the past.

QB JAY CUTLER: 6-2 record, 166-260 (64%), 1,812 yards, 17TD, nine INT

Cutler was good in the season opener, throwing for 243 yards and two touchdowns, mixing in just one interception against Cincinnati. He has loved playing the Vikings in the past, winning six of the eight games he's played against The Purple and averaging just over 200 yards per contest. He does, however, have disaster potential, and if the Vikes hope to have a shot at Soldier Field, a place where they've lost 11 of their last 12 matchups, they'll need to hold down Cutler much better than they did Matt Stafford and the Lions last week.

WR BRANDON MARSHALL: 3-1 record, 36 catches, 437 yards, two TD

Minnesota has done an excellent job keeping Marshall out of the endzone, and more importantly, in week one did a great job against the best receiver in the game, Calvin Johnson (4rec, 37yds, 0TD), who has pounded The Purple in the past. Marshall's nine catches per game against the Vikes is second highest in his career against any team, and he caught 12 balls in their last matchup (28-10 Bears win), converting on a number of clutch occasions in tight coverage. Marshall caught eight balls for 104 yards and a score in the Bears opener, but Minnesota comes in on a nice confidence high against number one receivers.

RB MATT FORTE: 6-3 record, 153 carries, 628 yards, 27 catches, 162 yards, two total TD

The Vikings have held Forte in check relatively well in his time in the NFC North, limiting him to just 69 yards per game, not in his personal top 10 versus NFL teams. The reason he made this list is because of his similarities to Reggie Bush, and the fact that Bush blew Minnesota's doors off last week to the tune of 191 total yards. Forte is stronger and not as quick as Bush, but brings the same skill set to the table Reggie does, the ability to catch the ball out of the backfield. Kevin Williams looks like he'll be back this week, so the middle of the Vikings line shouldn't be as soft as last week, and hopefully that will help in disrupting screens and swing passes as well with increased pressure.

DE JULIUS PEPPERS: 6-3 record, 19 tackles, 8 sacks, one INT

Peppers prolific play has been well chronicled throughout the years not only in the NFC North, but when he made a name for himself with Carolina. Some may say he's past his prime, but that doesn't mean the athletic beast Peppers has been the last 11 seasons isn't still there. He's averaging almost a sack per game against Minnesota, and with Matt Kalil's subpar performance last week, Peppers is surely licking his chops. For Adrian Peterson to have a more consistent afternoon than he did last week, and Christian Ponder to get comfortable in the pocket, Kalil will have to be better, and it all starts with neutralizing No. 90.

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