Game two is presenting the Bears with a chance to defeat not just a second 2012 playoff team on their schedule, but also establish some early distance between themselves and a direct NFC North competitor for the 2013 playoffs.
To do that, however, will involve starting with some “separation” from the Minnesota Vikings.
The two teams finished week one with multiple “similars:” The Vikings had 330 yards of total offense to the Bears’ 323. Both teams scored 24 points, which was enough for a Chicago win but not for the Vikings to get past Detroit.
The Bears weren’t satisfied with what the offense was able to accomplish with Matt Forte, whose 50 rushing yards wasn’t what he or the Bears had in mind. Adrian Peterson went 78 yards for a touchdown on his first carry, then 15 total on his next 17.
Both of their pass defenses were abused, the Vikings by Matt Stafford for 352 yards with a completion percentage of 65.1, the Bears by Andy Dalton for 277 completing 78.8 percent of his. Each defense had one sack.
Turnovers remain the defining statistic relative to winning vs. losing. In week one, teams with a plus-turnover-ratio were 11-1. The Vikings are 0-1 and the Bears 1-0 in large part because while the Bears were taking the ball away from Cincinnati three times, the Vikings were giving it away to Detroit four.
“We definitely pride ourselves on takeaways,” said safety Major Wright. “Even this offseason, I figured that we’re going to pick up on takeaways. [Secondary] coach Hoke definitely emphasized that when Lovie had left. He put it back in, and coach Tucker, he’s a guy who went on with it. It’s going great. Every practice we definitely focus on takeaways.”