PFF Preview: Bears @ Vikings, Week 17
The Minnesota Vikings (6-9) will host the Chicago Bears (5-10) in a game that will determine third place in the NFC North. Neither team has met expectations as a whole, but many individuals on each side will be playing to prove they belong or deserve more time in the NFL.
The Bears’ right guard, Kyle Long, has improved during his second season in the league, and has shown he was worthy of the first-round pick used on him. In his rookie year he allowed 32 pressures on 630 pass blocking snaps and his Pass Blocking Efficiency was 96.1. This season he has allowed only 15 pressures on 589 pass blocking snaps without allowing a single sack. His Pass Blocking Efficiency has risen to 98.1, which ranks sixth among guards. Long missed last week’s game and the Bears missed him. His replacement, Michael Ola, allowed a sack, a hit, and a hurry in that game.
The Vikings have rotated their defensive tackles with four players garnering over 390 snaps. While Sharrif Floyd and Linval Joseph get most of the recognition, it has been Tom Johnson who leads the position group in Pass Rushing Productivity. Johnson’s 8.3 Pass Rushing Productivity not only exceeds Joseph’s 6.4 and Floyd’s 6.8, but it ranks him fifth in the league among defensive tackles. Johnson wasn’t a free agent signing that grabbed headlines, but he has been a solid contributor on a defensive line that has been much improved under Mike Zimmer.
Everson Griffen and Brian Robison- In the Vikings’ last meeting with the Bears Griffen and Robinson racked up a combined 10 quarterback hurries, and one quarterback hit.
Xavier Rhodes- The Week 11 matchup with the Bears was the beginning of a four-game stretch in which Rhodes held opposing quarterbacks to an NFL QBR of 22.2 when throwing in his direction.
Teddy Bridgewater- The rookie quarterback’s accuracy continues to improve as he posted an 83.3 Accuracy Percentage in Week 16 against the Miami Dolphins. He is currently ranked as the fifth most accurate passer on the season.
Alshon Jeffery- Jeffery had a big game in Week 11 against the Vikings, catching 11 passes on 16 targets for 135 yards. Six receptions and 94 yards came against Josh Robinson.
Matt Forte- Forte has forced 20 missed tackles after receptions, which is third among running backs this year.
Stephen Paea- The defensive tackle is coming off a game in which he racked up six quarterback pressures on only 31 pass rushing snaps. His performance topped the league in Pass Rushing Productivity (14.5) last week.
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