Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Sports

December 1, 2013

NFL: Either way, Bears QB is a Vikings nightmare

MINNEAPOLIS — The last time the Minnesota Vikings played the Chicago Bears, they were well on their way to an important division victory on the road.

Until, that is, Jay Cutler, ruined their day. The Vikings led by six points with 3:15 to play at Soldier Field on Sept. 15. Then Cutler drove the Bears 66 yards, finishing the drive with a 16-yard touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett with 10 seconds to win it.

Cutler will not play in the rematch Sunday at the Metrodome because of a high left ankle sprain. A reason for the Vikings to celebrate? Well, they don't exactly have fond memories of facing backup quarterback Josh McCown, either.

Back in 2003, McCown was making his third career start for the lowly Arizona Cardinals in the season finale. The 9-6 Vikings need a win over the 3-12 Cards to clinch the NFC North.

The Vikings led 17-12 as the final seconds ticked down and the Cardinals facing a fourth-and-24 from the Minnesota 28. McCown threw the final pass of the game — of Arizona's season — into the corner of the end zone, and Nate Poole was there to haul it in for an 18-17 victory.

"No! Noooo!" Vikings radio play-by-play man Paul Allen yelled into the microphone in a call that still holds a prominent place in this tortured franchise's lore. "The Cardinals have knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs!"

So forgive the Vikings (2-8-1) if they aren't doing cartwheels knowing that Cutler will sit. But McCown doesn't think the Minnesota defense will be too focused on him.

"I don't think they adjust to me as much as they adjust to our receivers," McCown said.

McCown has been solid for the Bears (6-5) in Cutler's place, and they're going to need him again against Minnesota's struggling defense to stay near the top of the muddled North.

Here are five things to watch when the Bears and Vikings play Sunday:

POUNDED ON THE GROUND: Stout, menacing defense has long been a hallmark for the Bears, but injuries and aging have precipitated a rapid demise this season. In three of their five losses they've allowed 40-plus points, including last week at St. Louis. Only three other teams, Minnesota among them, have given up more than Chicago's average of 28.1 points per game.

With the absences of tackle Henry Melton, linebackers Lance Briggs and D.J. Williams and cornerback Charles Tillman proving costly, the Bears have allowed an average of NFL-worst 145.2 yards rushing per game.

The Vikings rushed for 232 yards last week against the Packers, with a less-than-100-percent Adrian Peterson getting backup help from Toby Gerhart.

HOMECOMING: Bears coach Marc Trestman went to high school in the Minneapolis suburb of St. Louis Park and played quarterback for the University of Minnesota, where he was a backup to Tony Dungy.

Trestman transferred and finished his college career at Minnesota State, Moorhead, and went to training camp as a defensive back with the Vikings in 1978 and 1979.

In need of a win this week, Trestman was in no mood to entertain family or friends on the trip to the Twin Cities.

"No, there's really no time for that," he said. "We'll save that for the offseason. We're going to come into Minnesota on a business trip and we've got work to do. It's a very, very important game."

QB SHUFFLE SLOWS: For the first time in a long time, the Vikings don't have questions at quarterback. They've started Christian Ponder, Matt Cassel and Josh Freeman this season, a dizzying quarterback carousel that finally seems to be slowing.

Ponder will start his sixth straight game after he completed 21 of 30 passes for 233 yards and a touchdown against the Packers.

"The biggest thing for me is we've got to win games," Ponder said. "I've got to be able to be the guy that's behind center that leads this team to victory."

HARD TIMES: The Vikings are having their fair share of troubles off the field as well, with three arrests in three weeks. It was revealed this week that LB Erin Henderson was arrested for DWI and possession of a controlled substance last week, and CB A.J. Jefferson was released on Monday after he was arrested for fighting with his girlfriend. WR Jerome Simpson was arrested on Nov. 9 for DWI.

GM Rick Spielman issued a statement calling the arrests "unacceptable and disappointing."

TIME TO SHINE: Henderson missed last week's game due to personal reasons, and coach Leslie Frazier declined to discuss whether it was related to his arrest. That opened the door for Audie Cole, a former seventh-round draft pick who had 13 tackles and a sack against the Packers.

"I was telling one of our coaches last week when they were asking how I feel or if I was nervous and stuff, personally when I get nervous about playing football is when I'm not prepared and I'm not sure if I know what I'm going to do," Cole said.

 

1
Text Only
Sports
  • SPT GN140730 Kulp Former Jimtown coach Brent Kulp named GHS softball coach GOSHEN — When you find your calling in life you follow it, even if it means going back to a previous career. Brent Kulp understands this lesson.

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Big Ten Media Days Football [Duplicate] Playoffs could create chances for Big Ten teams CHICAGO — As he watched the BCS championship game last season, Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook could not help but wonder: What if a playoff system were in place? Would the Spartans be playing for the biggest prize? No need to wonder anymore. T

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • USA Basketball-3 [Duplicate] Rose returns as U.S. basketball team opens camp LAS VEGAS — Derrick Rose says he feels old. The 25-year-old point guard's rigorous play on Monday during the U.S. basketball team's first practice dictated otherwise. "I was joking with Kyle Korver, I told him 'I'm getting old, man. I've got to stret

    July 29, 2014 2 Photos

  • Cardinals Cubs Baseball [THE GOSHEN NEWS] Stacked farm system offers Cubs hope DES MOINES, Iowa — It's tempting for Chicago Cubs fans to pay as much attention to Triple-A Iowa as the struggling big league club. Iowa's lineup is a daily reminder that Chicago's future might be as bright as any team in baseball. The recent promoti

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Kulp is new Goshen softball coach Brent Kulp was hired as the new Goshen High School softball coach at Monday night’s school board meeting. He was a physical education and health teacher in the Baugo Community Schools for 18 years and head softball coach at Jimtown High School for 15 seasons. Under his direction, Jimtown earned five Northern State Conference championships, five sectional titles and two regional titles and his teams compiled an overall record of 285-133-1.

    July 28, 2014

  • SPT GN140728 City Championship6 GOLF: Strong front nine leads Toner to Goshen City Championship Sugg hed: Toner cruises to City Championship victory GOSHEN — Through the first eight holes, Scott Toner dominated the competition at the Goshen Men’s City Golf Championship at Black Squirrel Golf Club. He was already two-under, and had already gaine

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Hall of Fame Inductions Baseball [Duplicate] Greg Maddux, Big Hurt inducted into Baseball Hall of Fame COOPERSTOWN, N.Y. — Frank Thomas choked back tears, Joe Torre apologized for leaving people out of his speech and Tony La Russa said he felt uneasy. Being enshrined in the Hall of Fame can have those effects, even on the greats. Thomas, pitchers Tom

    July 27, 2014 20 Photos

  • NASCAR Brickyard 400 Auto Racing-3 [Duplicate] NASCAR: Gordon wins his fifth Brickyard 400 INDIANAPOLIS — With a fifth Brickyard 400 victory on the line Sunday, Jeff Gordon looked like the driver he was 20 years ago. Gordon nailed the final restart of the race — no given because restarts have been Gordon's Achilles heel — to pass Hendrick

    July 27, 2014 6 Photos

  • Langer wins Senior British Open by record 13 shots BRIDGEND, Wales — Bernhard Langer won his second Senior British Open championship on Sunday, finishing a record 13 strokes clear of Colin Montgomerie of Scotland. The German added a closing 4-under 67 Sunday at sunny Royal Porthcawl to his earlier r

    July 27, 2014

  • SPT GN140727 City Golf Koron putt Miller takes lead after 18 holes at City Championship GOSHEN — The rumors started flying around in the mid-afternoon that Scott Toner’s 74 might not be the best score Saturday at the first round of the Goshen Men’s City Golf Championship at Black Squirrel Golf Club.Word spread that apparently someone ha

    July 27, 2014 3 Photos

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
US Ready to Slap New Sanctions on Russia Kerry: Not Worried About Israeli Criticism Boater Rescued From Edge of Kentucky Dam Girl Struck by Plane on Florida Beach Dies Rodents Rampant in Gardens Around Louvre House to Vote on Slimmed-down Bill for Border Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating
Poll

With military action and tensions escalating between Russia and Ukraine, as well as Israel and Palestine, are you worried that the U.S. and other nations may get drawn into these conflicts?

Yes, it is a great concern of mine
I’m a little worried, but not too much
No, I’m not worried at all
     View Results