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 yardsthe first time since Tennessee that Bears backs have topped 100is 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.

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