Defensively, I expect the Vikings to play well: Cedric Benson has proven nothing but that he sucks, so he's not going to get much against the Viking run defense. Brian Griese won't be as fun for the defense as Rex Grossman would have been, but he still might hang some interceptions up there. Chicago's offense shouldn't score much.
Offensively, I don't see how the Vikings will have much success. They'll have to hope that Adrian Peterson can break some long runs, put the team in 3rd and short a lot, and (I can't emphasize this enough), stay on the field. The Vikes particularly need Peterson in the red zone: there should not be a single red zone play that Peterson isn't in on, since he's the one dynamic threat on offense that can bust through the tight defense.
On Special Teams, of course I fear Devin Hester.
I think the Bears will win this game as the special teams and defense set the Bears up with good field position (or score outright themselves), and the Viking offense won't be able to mount a threat. But I may fear Soldier Field more than is reasonable (since the Vikes haven't won there since 2000), and this Viking team should have a legitimate shot at pulling out a rare road win against Chicago. We can hope.
We're lucky to have two papers.
The Star Tribune has an article (by Seifert and Zulgad) about the struggles of the Viking offense this year. The title is "Vikings offense: Getting there is half the battle." The subtitle is "The Vikings offense often has stalled short of the red zone, and some players have stepped up and offered to be part of the solution." The first two sentences of the article read "Fact: No NFL team has scored fewer offensive touchdowns than the Vikings this season. The gray area: why, and how to fix it."
The Pioneer Press has an article (by Seeholzer) about the struggles of the Viking offense this year. The title is "Offense hasn't seen enough of red zone." The subtitle is "Mistakes stalling too many drives, Bevell says." The first two sentences read "With only four touchdowns in four games, the Vikings' offense has obvious scoring issues, but offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said it's not a red-zone problem. The problem is getting into the red zone."
Week Six Matchups
Everyone's atwitter about the Dallas-New England matchup, but I'm more thrilled with the prime time games this week. Seahawks-Saints! Giants-Falcons! Of course I'm kidding. Signal to Noise thinks the NFL should just move the Cowboys-Patriots game to Sunday night--he's in that blue part of this map that gets to watch San Diego-Oakland instead. I feel worse for the gray part of that map that gets to watch Arizona-Carolina. Oh, to be beholden to the arbitrary wrath of the network/league gods.
I'm also interested in that Washington-Green Bay game--should be an interesting matchup among two of the seemingly good NFC teams.
That Pizza Hut Commercial
You know that Pizza Hut commercial that's sometimes on during games, when the family comes home and the dad was responsible for dinner and he just ordered pizza, and he says "Who's the man?" and his wife says "I love you" in a sort of awkward, strange moment? I'm pretty sure the wife was one of the women that Kramer and Mickey fought over in "The Yada Yada" (imdb and wikipedia). The next time it's on, watch it and tell me if that seems right. I once thought I was impressing a date at a movie by pointing out all the actors in the previews and film that had been on Seinfeld. No second date, though.
In the Ghosts of Wayne Fontes' League, I have four regular starters on bye, including Peyton Manning. A waiver block prevented me from getting Jason Campbell. Gus freaking Frerotte is my starting fantasy quarterback this weekend. Look upon my works and despair. Nothing else remains. And all that.
In the Hazelweird League, I don't know whether to start Donovan McNabb or Vince Young this weekend. All I want is a quarterback that can get me the expected 7+ points a fantasy quarterback should get in this league, and I can never manage it.
"My God, I never asked you to do this!" In the Hazelweird League, my most expensive player was Steve Smith. Would have have spent the money on Smith if I knew by week six Vinny Testaverde would be responsible for his success? Does the pope crap in the woods? Does a bear wear a funny hat? Well, I don't know, maybe popes used to crap in the woods, and I know people have put funny hats on bears. I hope nobody interprets that joke as anti-Catholic. It's not. It's not anti-bear either. Though people shouldn't put funny hats on bears. The joke is anti-people-putting-funny-hats-on-bears. The answer is no, by the way.
Enjoy your weekend, people. Except Bear and Packer fans.