Lots of offense 'trolls' for Vikings to battle

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Lots of offense 'trolls' for Vikings to battle

The Bears have beaten the Vikings six straight times, prompting Minnesota All-Pro defensive tackle Kevin Williams to suspect they must have a lucky Troll in this place. The Bears also are 27-10 in Cutlers last 37 starts so maybe Cutler is the troll.

He wasnt the only one.

The performance of the offense was nothing close to dominating but it was precisely what has worked for the Bears and represented a step up for first-year coordinator Mike Tice.

The Bears netted 102 combined yards from running backs Michael Bush (60) and Matt Forte (42). The fact that they needed 35 carries to accomplish 100 yards the first time since Tennessee that Bears backs have topped 100 is perhaps less important than that they did need 35 carries because of the commitment to the run it represented.

I think when we stay committed to the run and we block well, were going to be successful, Cutler said. Whenever you get into pass-happy and divert from the run, its hard, especially in November and December.

The consistent use of the run amid the chaos on the offensive line was the biggest reason the Bears allowed zero sacks (Cutler tripped over center Roberto Garza for the Vikings one credited sack), arguably more important than protection schemes, which have failed against Jared Allen in the past.

The Brandon Ratio

Brandon Marshall was targeted on 17 of Cutlers 31 pass attempts and caught 12 for 92 yards, the seventh time this season he has topped 90 yards. Whether that sort of ball distribution is effective in the long run but it pushed Marshall past 1,000 yards (1,017 through 11 games) for the sixth straight year.

Marshall currently has 81 receptions, already tied (with Curtis Conway, 1996) for seventh on the Bears all-time list for single-season receptions. That will change very soon, since Jeff Graham (82) and Bobby Engram (88) are next on the list.

To his credit, however, Marshall is less impressed with that number than the Bears win total.

I definitely take pride in it, Marshall said. There is a great quote out there that says, Dont confuse activity with production. You have to be productive in anything you do in life.

I hope that this is the last place that I catch 1,000 yards. Im really proud to be a Bear and when I look back on my legacy as a football player, I want it to be as a Bear.

Fire fans swarm O'Hare to greet Bastian Schweinsteiger

Fire fans swarm O'Hare to greet Bastian Schweinsteiger

In the age of social media you can track something like Bastian Schweinsteiger's flight to Chicago in almost real-time.

The Chicago Fire publicized Schweinsteiger's Tuesday arrival in Chicago, giving fans details of when his plane was expected to arrive and at what terminal.

First, Schweinsteiger and his former tennis player wife, Ana Ivanovic, both tweeted photos to their millions of followers about their trip.

Once they arrived, the mob scene at O'Hare was on. Schweinsteiger was greeted by hundreds of fans.

Check out the video above for some footage of Schweinsteiger's arrival.

He will be introduced formally with a press conference on Wednesday at 3 p.m. from the Fire Pitch in Chicago. The press conference will air on CSN+ and be streamed live on CSNChicago.com.

Hawks Talk Podcast: What's the cause of recent struggles?

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USA TODAY

Hawks Talk Podcast: What's the cause of recent struggles?

On the latest Hawks Talk Podcast, Pat Boyle and Steve Konroyd discuss the latest slump and how much does Artem Anisimov's injury play a role in their struggles?

Konroyd tells us he was surprised by Ryan Hartman's benching in Tampa.

The guys play the game, playoff minutes or press box minutes?  They run through the players who are on the bubble when it comes to postseason play.

They also discuss the Hawks chances of overtaking Washington for the President's trophy.

Plus, Konroyd breaks down possible first round opponents: St Louis, Calgary and Nashville.