Sid Hartman: Blowout loss not what Vikings expected

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 17, 2011 - 6:10 AM

The coaches felt great about the Vikings' chances, but the team never had a chance against the Bears.

If you hung around Winter Park this past week, the last thing you expected to see Sunday night was the Bears to dominate the Vikings to the tune of 39-10, with the visitors really never in the game.

The Vikings defense had dominated the Arizona offense the week before, as defensive ends Jared Allen and Brian Robison spent all day in the Cardinals backfield. The Vikings coaching staff believed that the secondary had found itself.

Those coaches were convinced that the Cardinals game was a turning point in the season and that the Vikings could handle a Chicago team that had been dominated last Monday by the Lions.

But everything went in reverse on this particular evening in Chicago, with the Vikings not getting a sack until the third quarter and Bears quarterback Jay Cutler having all night to find his receivers.

The game was over at the half with the Bears up 26-3.

The Vikings' pattern this season had been to outscore their opponents in the first half and then get dominated in the second. But this game saw them beaten soundly from the outset.

The contest was similar to the Packers' visit to the Metrodome a year ago, when Aaron Rodgers passed his team to a 31-3 victory after the Vikings had lost 27-13 in Chicago the week before. Coach Brad Childress lost his job after the Packers loss.

The performance of the Vikings had to be especially embarrassing to coach Leslie Frazier, whose Soldier Field appearance was a homecoming, as he played cornerback for the Bears for five seasons before a knee injury in the Super Bowl cut his career short.

Tice's group steps up

Late in NBC's broadcast Sunday, they showed how the Bears offensive line has changed throughout the season. The Bears already came into this year with a new-look offensive line that no longer had longtime center Olin Kreutz and had only one starter returning in his same position from 2010, left guard Chris Williams.

This week the Bears started their fifth different offensive line in six games, with all the turmoil coming at right guard and right tackle. Lance Louis, their Week 1 starting right guard, became their third starting right tackle in six games.

All the changes had taken a toll on Cutler, who was sacked three times by Detroit last week, making it 16 sacks in five games.

Well, Sunday night, until Allen was able to sack Cutler in the middle of the third quarter, nobody in a Purple uniform got close to the Bears quarterback. This after the Vikings had four sacks against the Cardinals last week.

NBC color commentator Cris Collinsworth described it as a flawless performance by a Bears offensive line, a group that is coached by former Vikings coach Mike Tice.

The Vikings were never in this game. The result appeared to be decided when the Bears took a 16-0 lead in the first quarter, taking only three plays before Cutler's 48-yard touchdown pass to Devin Hester indicated what was going to happen on this night.

Stopped Peterson

The Vikings had not won a game in Chicago since 2007, when, as a rookie, Adrian Peterson set a club record by running for 224 yards in a 34-31 victory. Peterson broke that record three weeks later with his NFL-record 296 yards against San Diego.

Sunday night, the Bears held Peterson to 12 carries for 39 yards as they stacked eight and nine men on the line of scrimmage and challenged Donovan McNabb to beat them with the passing game.

It seems that maybe the Bears have figured out how to slow down Peterson when he visits Soldier Field. Last season, he was held to only 51 yards on 17 carries and had no touchdowns.

That was the first time the Bears were really able to stop Peterson in Chicago. In addition to his 2007 outburst at Soldier Field in which he also scored three touchdowns, he ran for 121 yards on 22 carries and two TDs in a 48-41 loss there, and in 2009 he ran for 94 yards on 24 carries with two TDs while also catching three passes for 43 yards in a 36-30 overtime loss.

The same can be said for Allen, who has never won a game in Chicago during his time with the Vikings. Allen had three tackles and sacked Cutler once, forcing and recovering a fumble that set up the lone Vikings touchdown in the process. In his three previous games at Chicago, Allen had a total of four sacks and 13 tackles.

Can't blame McNabb

McNabb was responsible for a first-quarter safety that was followed by a 3-yard touchdown run by former Gophers star Marion Barber. But statistically, McNabb wasn't bad, completing 19 of 24 passes for 177 yards and a respectable 97.4 rating despite being rushed all night. Two of the incompletions were drops, one by Visanthe Shiancoe and one by Bernard Berrian.

Viking receivers wound up catching 28 passes for 276 yards, a season high, but the receptions didn't lead to scores.

The McNabb haters should be happy because rookie Christian Ponder did finally get his chance in the fourth quarter, and I thought he did a pretty good job even though he was being pressured from all sides on most every play.

The first-round draft choice from Florida State wound up completing nine of 17 passes for 99 yards and a 70.5 rating. He also rushed one time for 8 yards, saw another 9-yard run called back by a holding penalty and did a decent job evading blitzers.

With a 1-5 record and no chance to win the division on the basis of Sunday's performance, one would hope that Ponder, the future quarterback, would get an opportunity to see what he can do the rest of the season. However, Frazier might decide to see if Joe Webb can perform like he did in his victory over the Eagles last year.

Manning got blitzed

One comparable embarrassing Vikings performance in Chicago was on Oct. 28, 1984, when coach Les Steckel allowed one of his assistants to completely change the personnel on the offensive line. Quarterback Archie Manning almost got killed that night.

The Bears won by a score of only 16-7, but Manning got sacked 11 times. Manning went 14-for-24 passing for 138 yards with one interception.

Richard Dent had 2 1/2 sacks, Todd Bell had two sacks and five other Bears tallied at least one sack. The lone Vikings score came in the fourth quarter after Wade Wilson had replaced the battered Manning.

That 1984 Vikings team went 3-13, a record this Vikings team hopes it doesn't get stuck with.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. • shartman@startribune.com

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Philadelphia 24 FINAL
Washington 27
San Diego 38 FINAL
San Francisco 35
Minnesota 12:00 PM
Miami
Baltimore 12:00 PM
Houston
Detroit 12:00 PM
Chicago
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Carolina
Atlanta 12:00 PM
New Orleans
Green Bay 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Kansas City 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
New England 12:00 PM
NY Jets
NY Giants 3:05 PM
St. Louis
Buffalo 3:25 PM
Oakland
Indianapolis 3:25 PM
Dallas
Seattle 7:30 PM
Arizona
Denver 12/22/14 7:30 PM
Cincinnati
New York 2:30 PM
Toronto
Memphis 3:30 PM
Cleveland
Boston 5:00 PM
Miami
Detroit 5:00 PM
Brooklyn
LA Lakers 5:00 PM
Sacramento
Philadelphia 5:00 PM
Orlando
Phoenix 5:00 PM
Washington
Indiana 6:00 PM
Minnesota
New Orleans 6:00 PM
Oklahoma City
Colorado 5:00 PM
Detroit
Dallas 5:00 PM
Edmonton
Buffalo 6:00 PM
Boston
Carolina 6:00 PM
NY Rangers
Toronto 6:00 PM
Chicago
Philadelphia 8:00 PM
Winnipeg
Harvard 11:00 AM
Virginia
Maine 12:00 PM
Army
Ferris State 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
San Francisco 12:00 PM
Cleveland State
Oregon State 12:00 PM
Quinnipiac
Coastal Carolina 12:30 PM
Central Arkansas
Holy Cross 1:00 PM
Canisius
Southern Miss 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Western Carolina 1:00 PM
UNC-Asheville
Creighton 1:00 PM
North Texas
Maryland 1:00 PM
Oklahoma State
Cornell 1:00 PM
Radford
Vermont 1:00 PM
Saint Louis
Loyola-Maryland 1:00 PM
Stony Brook
Reinhardt 1:00 PM
Winthrop
Ark-Little Rock 1:00 PM
Green Bay
TX-Pan American 1:00 PM
Nebraska Omaha
Alabama State 1:05 PM
Evansville
FIU 1:30 PM
Hartford
Goshen 1:35 PM
Valparaiso
Bryant 2:00 PM
Denver
Austin Peay 2:00 PM
Lipscomb
Tennessee St 2:00 PM
Middle Tennessee
South Dakota 2:00 PM
Montana
ULM 2:00 PM
Samford
Coker 2:30 PM
South Carolina
USC 3:00 PM
Boston College
Northern Ariz 3:00 PM
Hampton
SD Christian 3:00 PM
San Diego
UC Irvine 3:30 PM
Bradley
Troy 3:30 PM
Nicholls
Seton Hall 5:00 PM
Georgia
Appalachian St 5:30 PM
Alabama
North Dakota St 6:00 PM
Kent State
San Jose St 6:00 PM
Washington St
Alcorn State 8:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Sacramento St 9:00 PM
Seattle
Nevada 3 FINAL
Louisiana 16
Utah State 21 FINAL
Texas-El Paso 6
(23) Utah 45 FINAL
Colorado State 10
Western Mich 24 FINAL
Air Force 38
South Alabama 28 FINAL
Bowling Green 33
BYU 12/22/14 1:00 PM
Memphis
Marshall 12/23/14 5:00 PM
Northern Ill
Navy 12/23/14 8:30 PM
San Diego St
Central Mich 12/24/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky
Fresno State 12/24/14 7:00 PM
Rice
Illinois 12/26/14 12:00 PM
Louisiana Tech
Rutgers 12/26/14 3:30 PM
North Carolina
NC State 12/26/14 7:00 PM
UCF
Cincinnati 12/27/14 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
Duke 12/27/14 1:10 PM
(15) Arizona State
Miami-Florida 12/27/14 3:00 PM
So Carolina
Boston College 12/27/14 3:30 PM
Penn State
(25) Nebraska 12/27/14 7:00 PM
(24) USC
Cal-Irvine 11:00 AM
Denver
St Marys-CA 11:00 AM
George Washington
TX-San Antonio 11:00 AM
Nicholls
Portland State 11:00 AM
Columbia
Tenn Tech 11:00 AM
Morgan State
SMU 11:00 AM
Auburn
Quinnipiac 11:00 AM
Hartford
Hofstra 11:00 AM
Boston College
Eastern Washington 11:00 AM
Georgia Southern
Rhode Island 12:00 PM
Bryant
Liberty 12:00 PM
(1) South Carolina
Fairleigh Dickinson 12:00 PM
Brown
Buffalo 12:00 PM
Long Island
Bucknell 12:00 PM
Mount St Marys
Stony Brook 12:00 PM
Wagner
FIU 12:00 PM
Wofford
Duquesne 12:00 PM
Providence
Maine 12:00 PM
William & Mary
Alabama State 12:00 PM
Samford
TX-Pan American 12:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
South Dakota St 12:00 PM
Marist
Saint Josephs 12:00 PM
(5) Notre Dame
Radford 12:00 PM
Virginia Tech
(3) Texas 12:30 PM
(4) Texas A&M
South Florida 1:00 PM
Penn State
Sam Houston St 1:00 PM
TCU
Evansville 1:00 PM
IUPUI
(14) Maryland 1:00 PM
Coppin State
Mercer 1:00 PM
Coll of Charleston
NC A&T 1:00 PM
Chattanooga
Princeton 1:00 PM
Monmouth
Eastern Illinois 1:00 PM
Lehigh
Rider 1:00 PM
Binghamton
SC State 1:00 PM
Clemson
Fairfield 1:00 PM
Iowa State
Richmond 1:00 PM
Eastern Kentucky
Cleveland State 1:00 PM
Morehead St
Kent State 1:00 PM
Colgate
South Alabama 1:00 PM
UAB
Saint Peters 1:00 PM
Navy
Youngstown St 1:00 PM
Pittsburgh
NJIT 1:00 PM
Lafayette
Davidson 1:00 PM
Charlotte
Indiana State 1:30 PM
St Johns
Southern U 1:30 PM
Florida
Wright State 1:30 PM
Purdue
(19) Oklahoma St 2:00 PM
USC
Houston 2:00 PM
Texas Tech
Ark-Little Rock 2:00 PM
Tulsa
Dayton 2:00 PM
Vanderbilt
Northern Ariz 2:00 PM
New Mexico
UNC-Asheville 2:00 PM
USC Upstate
North Dakota 2:00 PM
South Dakota
Western Ill 2:00 PM
Marquette
Elon 2:00 PM
(6) North Carolina
Ball State 2:00 PM
Western Ky
(8) Kentucky 2:00 PM
(13) Duke
New Orleans 2:00 PM
Alabama
Chicago State 2:00 PM
Milwaukee
Bowling Green 2:00 PM
Bradley
Ill-Springfield 2:00 PM
SE Missouri St
Northern Ill 2:00 PM
Northern Iowa
(23) Iowa 2:05 PM
Drake
Central Michigan 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Western Carolina 2:30 PM
North Florida
Wyoming 3:00 PM
Colorado
Portland 3:00 PM
Boise State
Cal Poly 3:00 PM
Colorado State
No Dakota State 3:00 PM
Grand Canyon
Albany 3:00 PM
Cal State Fullerton
Oklahoma 3:00 PM
Arkansas
Idaho State 3:00 PM
Seattle
(18) Michigan State 3:00 PM
(19) Syracuse
Northwestern 3:30 PM
Arizona State
TX-Arlington 3:30 PM
North Texas
Fresno State 4:00 PM
Oregon
St Francis-PA 4:00 PM
Coastal Carolina
UNLV 4:00 PM
CS-Bakersfield
UCLA 4:00 PM
(2) Connecticut
(10) Louisville 4:00 PM
(24) California
Howard 5:00 PM
Virginia
Miami-Ohio 6:00 PM
(21) Miss State
Illinois-Chicago 8:30 PM
Old Dominion
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: How will the Vikings do Sunday against Miami?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close