Monday Night Debate: Who'll cover the spread?

Dec 19, 2010 |
Monday Night Debate: Who'll cover the spread?
Vikings rookie Joe Webb makes his first career start Monday night against the Chicago Bears.
Vikings rookie Joe Webb makes his first career start Monday night against the Chicago Bears.
The only thing cooler than the field temperature Monday night in Minnesota is our weekly debate. We nabbed two of the best NFL bloggers for Yardbarker to chip in with their take on the Bears-Vikings matchup.

Bears Breakdown

Jay Cutler. (Getty)
Mike Burzama is our go-to Bears expert. Be sure to check out his website for all your news and insight on the Bears. Here’s Mike’s take on Chicago.

Chicago was really embarrassed by New England last week. Were the Bears exposed or do you see them still as a Super Bowl contender?

I think that the answer is a little bit of both. Some of the Bears' flaws that had been flying under the radar of that five-game winning streak came to the forefront; namely a poor offensive line. With the conditions as they were last week in snowy Chicago, the offensive line needed some push to get a running game going and that didn't happen. 

That said, I still think the Bears are still Super Bowl contenders in the NFC, where no team is really scary. 
Lovie Smith says his team isn’t worried about the field conditions at University of Minnesota but some of his players are openly complaining. What’s the deal?

I think the field situation is getting blown a little out of proportion. The players are making a big deal out of it because they're concerned about safety. The Bears have been remarkably lucky this season when it comes to injuries, so it makes sense to question the condition of the field to ensure players aren't unnecessarily exposed to risk of injury. 

Besides, wouldn't you rather play in a nice cushy dome in Atlanta or Indianapolis instead of a skating rink in frigid Minneapolis?
Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic got into a heated debate on their morning radio show about whether the Bears were still a smashmouth team. Greeny thinks Chicago is more of a finesse team. Golic didn’t agree. Which sportscaster is right?

I hate to be wishy-washy with you, but again, I think it's a little bit of both.  Let me preface this by saying I didn't hear their discussion, so I don't know the details, but from what you're describing, it sounds like a case can be made for both. I think the defense is more smashmouth with guys like Urlacher, Briggs and Peppers. On the offensive side of the ball, no one is going to mistake Mike Martz's offense as smashmouth. If you can't run the ball, you don't get to call yourself smashmouth.
What do you think the game plan is against the Vikings with rookie Joe Webb under center? Do you think Lovie’s going to have a talk with Mike Martz about keeping the offense conservative?

The only way that the Bears lose this game is if Mike Martz and Jay Cutler get pass-happy and turn the ball over. Look for Cutler to resume a little more of the game manager role that he's had during the Bears' winning streak before the Patriots knocked them off last week.
Which matchup (offense or defense) do you see the Bears trying to exploit most often against the Vikings?

Definitely look for the Bears defense to try to exploit the Vikings offense. The defense is still the strength of the team and with a banged-up Vikings offense being led by an inexperienced quarterback the Bears defense should ruin the Vikings 50th anniversary party.
Final score prediction: Bears 19, Vikings 13

Vikings Breakdown

Adrian Peterson. (Getty)

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