Bears run game poses multiple threats | By @pcraigers
In the 10 games between the Vikings and Bears since Mike Zimmer’s hire in 2014, the team that has rushed for the most yards has won the game nine times.
The only exception was in the 2016 finale when the Bears started quarterback Matt Barkley, who has opened one game since. The Vikings claimed that game 38-10.
The rushing battle hasn’t even been close in the past three matchups.
Minnesota outrushed Chicago 147 to 30 in the 2017 regular-season finale.
The Bears swept the Vikings last season in part by dominating the rushing yards: 148 to 22 at Soldier Field and 163 to 63 at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Jordan Howard departed in free agency, but the Bears drafted David Montgomery, who leads Chicago with 147 yards on 37 carries. The rookie out of Iowa State has the Bears only rushing touchdown of 2019.
Former Vikings receiver Cordarrelle Patterson was brought in during free agency and has Chicago’s longest offensive play of the season, a 46-yard run at Denver.
Mike Davis, who had 514 yards and four rushing touchdowns in Seattle last season, hasn’t been utilized much yet this year (nine carries for 22 yards; six receptions for 17 yards). Nor has Tarik Cohen, at least in terms of running (eight rushes for 16 yards). Cohen, however, does have 12 receptions for 82 yards.
The bottom line is that Chicago can be varied with its running game because of its diverse personnel.
“It’s going to be a challenge. Obviously playing the run and stopping the pass, being in position for that,” Harris said. “That’s part of trying to get on the film study, get a feel for where they want to go with the ball in different situations, how they want to attack you, and then just knowing what defense you’re in and how we have to adjust.”
Vikings Defensive Coordinator George Edwards said the Vikings have prepped for multiple scenarios.
“You take Cohen, he’s everywhere. He’s sort of like Cordarrelle, they use him everywhere. He’s outside as a number one receiver, he’s in the slot as a receiver, he’s in the backfield, he’s lined up in a spread formation, coming back into the backfield,” Edwards said. “We’re going to definitely have to be aware of where he’s at and what he’s doing. That’s another package that they have, and his skill set and his speed and ability to catch the ball out of the backfield, catch the ball on the perimeter, we’ve got to do a good job of paying attention to the details of what we’ve got going in those situations.”