The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Vikings News

September 15, 2013

Vikings set to battle Bears on Sunday

Forte looking to make some noise, too

(Continued)

“They’ve upgraded in some positions, absolutely,” Allen said. “I think Bushrod is definitely a good addition there. It’s hard to tell with young kids after one game, but I think the biggest thing is, they’re still doing a lot of max protection.”

WHAT PRESSURE?: The Bears will try to get to Ponder while keeping an eye on Peterson, after giving the Bengals’ Andy Dalton all the time he needed last week. It was not a great day up front for a team that ranked eighth last season with 41 sacks. Julius Peppers and Henry Melton were quiet. The 33-year-old Peppers occasionally missed practices in preseason, while Melton was playing for the first time since a concussion during the first preseason game.

PONDER-ING CHANGE: Ponder had a rough time against Detroit, getting sacked three times and throwing three interceptions. He’s already hearing loud criticism from fans and some media. Coach Leslie Frazier gave Ponder a strong vote of confidence this week, saying the failures in Detroit were system-wide. Ponder’s starting job does not appear in immediate jeopardy, but another lackluster game and an 0-2 start will have the local fans restless.

THE PETERSON PRINCIPLE: Peterson has had some monster games against the Monsters of the Midway. He went off for 224 yards as a rookie at Soldier Field in 2007, and he ran for 154 and two touchdowns in a 21-14 victory at the Metrodome last year. Overall, Peterson has 1,085 yards and 14 TDs rushing in 10 games against Chicago.

“It’s going to be a challenge, there’s no doubt about it, because we’re going to have to find a way to fit the run and we’re going to have to defend the play-action passes and things like that when we are in single-safety coverages,” Trestman said.

FORTE’S TIME?: Quiet in the opener, Matt Forte could be poised for a big game. Reggie Bush racked up 191 yards of offense last week, and the two have similar skill sets. It just didn’t happen last week for Forte, who had 50 yards rushing and 41 receiving.

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