Vikings aren't trusting what they saw from Bears on MNF

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Vikings aren't trusting what they saw from Bears on MNF

The last time the Bears saw the Minnesota Vikings, defensive end Jared Allen was embarrassing left tackle JMarcus Webb in Game 16 and the Vikings' pass rush was assaulting quarterback Josh McCown with seven sacks.

Kind of like what Aldon Smith and the San Francisco 49ers did to Webb, Gabe Carimi and the Bears offense overall last Monday.

But Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier also remembers that the Vikings lost that final game last season. And he and Allen are ostensibly more interested in what the Bears were doing before that disaster last Monday.

You try to take a look and see what created the struggle for sure and kind of take it with a grain of salt though when its a team like the Bears and the success that theyve had throughout the season, Frazier said. You have to be very careful about reading much into it and you also have to look at the opponent they were playing. San Franciscos a very good team with some very talented players.

So you look at a lot of different things but you dont want to take what happened on Monday night and say OK, thats the blueprint for success, because not all teams have some of the players that San Francisco has.

Actually, the Vikings are one of those teams.

Allen has seven sacks, 11 tackles for loss and 24 quarterback hits, according to Vikings stats. Left end Brian Robison has 5.5 sacks, five tackles for loss and 13 quarterback hits.

The Vikings rank 12th in sacks per pass play as well as eighth in average per rushing attempt.

The Bears have dropped to 14th in rushing average offensively.

That Bears offensive line, I think theyre going to be all right, Frazier said. Tough night against San Francisco but every game is different and Im sure itll be a different bus on Sunday.

Not everyone is, however.

Reports: Dolphins assistant Jeremiah Washburn to be Bears' new O-line coach

Reports: Dolphins assistant Jeremiah Washburn to be Bears' new O-line coach

The Bears have reportedly found a new offensive line coach.

According to multiple reports Monday, Jeremiah Washburn will become the team's new offensive line coach, replacing Dave Magazu.

Washburn worked as an assistant offensive line coach this past season with the Miami Dolphins under Adam Gase, the Bears' former offensive coordinator.

Prior to his season in South Florida, he spent seven seasons with the Detroit Lions, working three of them as the team's offensive line coach after three as an assistant offensive line coach.

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This past season, the Bears ranked 17th in the NFL in rushing with 1,735 yards as a team. Only eight teams allowed fewer sacks than the Bears, who saw quarterbacks dropped by opposing defenses just 28 times. Bears quarterbacks were hit 73 teams, also a top-10 mark in the league.

The Bears also committed a good number of holding penalties, 1.68 per game, which was only bested by seven teams.

Magazu was a longtime member of John Fox's staffs in Chicago, Denver and Carolina.

Blackhawks' rough weekend 'a little bit of a wake-up call'

Blackhawks' rough weekend 'a little bit of a wake-up call'

Patrick Kane was summing up the Blackhawks' weekend, one that didn't go well in terms of points.

"Good way to kind of judge ourselves, where we're at," he said Sunday night. "Might be a little bit of a wake-up call to see how good we really are."

Well, in a way, it is. You can't really compare Friday's loss to Washington and Sunday's loss to Minnesota on performance; the Blackhawks didn't show up for the first game and were much better in the second. Nevertheless, it was the same result in each. The Blackhawks' lengthy hold on first place in the Western Conference ended, with the Wild taking over following Sunday's 3-2 victory.

It's not a sound-the-alarm situation, but the Blackhawks are certainly cognizant of the missed opportunity last weekend and that they came up short against the league's best.

Artem Anisimov agreed with Kane's assessment.

"We just need to play better. All four lines need to play better in all areas of the ice. Just be better in the little things," Anisimov said. "Back check, put stick in the right position, box the guy out, short shifts. All little things need to be better."

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Many of the little things that were absent against the Capitals were back against the Wild. But coach Joel Quenneville wasn't happy with mistakes made on goals allowed, especially the first two. And while Kane and the second line were a consistent scoring threat against the Wild, the other three lines weren't. It's a problem that's plagued the Blackhawks a good deal this season, even when they were stringing together victories.

There is no reason to think that, because of this weekend's results, the Blackhawks are going to falter against strong teams. They've done well against others already this season. They beat Montreal earlier this season, when the Canadiens were healthy and steamrolling everyone. They beat the New York Rangers when the Rangers and former Blackhawks backup goaltender Antti Raanta were on their respective hot streaks.

Still, Kane's analysis is correct: This should get the Blackhawks' attention. The Wild have beaten the Blackhawks in eight consecutive regular-season games now and will face them three more times this season. They have two more meetings with the Edmonton Oilers, who beat them soundly in November.

The Blackhawks' long reign atop the Western Conference standings is over. They’re currently second in the Central Division, with an eight-point cushion over the St. Louis Blues. The Blackhawks have done fairly well this season. But this weekend was a reminder that they can be better.

"The game (on Friday) was kind of like a shock to the system thinking maybe you're one of the top teams in the league, or being able to compete with one of the top teams, and we obviously got thoroughly outplayed. We came back (Sunday night). It was pretty even in chances. We might've even had more so, just kind of didn't pull it out," Kane said. "But (when) you've played two of the better teams in the league and lose, there's got to be room for improvement, right?"