Bears-Vikings prop picks (10.16.11)

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Jay Cutler had a good game against the Lions but will face the league's leading sacker Sunday night.
Jay Cutler had a good game against the Lions but will face the league's leading sacker Sunday night.

Here is a look at hypothetical propositional wagers between the Bears and Vikings.

First team to score

Bears. Although their performance may not be that much more clean than it was against the Lions, I expect a better effort out of the Bears against the Vikings. I feel it won’t take them as long to get into a rhythm at home and they should be able to eliminate some of the dumb mistakes they made and get on the board early.

First Bears player to score

Robbie Gould. For a team that is struggling to find its identity offensively, I expect them to settle for a field goal before they put the ball in the end zone and Gould will give them the early lead.

First Bears player to catch a pass

Devin Hester. I got this one correct last week and I’m going to ride it again for another week. Jay Cutler has made it public his preference that the Bears run some plays that will allow him to get rid of the ball quickly to help him avoid the beating he takes and I expect the Bears to acquiesce to his request. Hester is usually good for a quick reception — what he does with the ball after it’s in his hands is another story.

Bears player to catch most passes

Matt Forte. I had a feeling a receiver would dethrone Forte as the leading pass catcher in last week’s game and it turned out to be Dane Sanzenbacher. This week I think Forte takes that crown back as the Bears struggle to pass against a Vikings defense with a good pass rush. Forte should get a lot of checkdown looks.

More passing yards – Jay Cutler or Donovan McNabb

Jay Cutler. McNabb is averaging just 169.8 passing yards per game, and although the Bears could have a little trouble containing the pass rush, the Vikings figure to keep the ball on the ground offensively and let Adrian Peterson go to work.

More touchdown passes or interceptions by Jay Cutler

Touchdowns. Cutler has done a great job of protecting the football this season and that should continue. He’s thrown just four interceptions this year, which ties him for ninth-fewest in the league. Some of that may be attributed to him not having much time to even take chances down the field and instead focusing on shorter, safer passes.

Jay Cutler sacks

4. Cutler will stare down across the line at his friend and current NFL sack leader, Jared Allen, and might be running for his life. I think Allen will have a big game, but the Bears will keep the rest of the Vikings defensive line mostly in check.

More rushing yards – Bears or Vikings

Vikings. Given how poorly the Bears have fared against the run this season, and how much trouble they’ve had stopping Adrian Peterson over the years, I wouldn’t expect much of a contest between Forte and Peterson in this one. The Vikings have the fourth-ranked run defense and could make things difficult for the Bears offense.

Total combined rushing and receiving yards by Matt Forte

125. Although Forte is the Bears’ primary weapon, he could have trouble getting started against Minnesota on Sunday night. The Vikings have one of the top run defenses and their pass rush will make it difficult for the Bears to move the ball through the air. Forte could have a lot of receptions, but I wouldn’t expect big yardage from him this week.

Team to win the turnover battle

Bears. Peterson has had a history of poor ball security and the Bears could capitalize off that. McNabb has thrown just two interceptions this year but he’s due for a mistake or two.

Total points scored

44. The Vikings put up 34 points last week and the Bears ought to have a rebound game against a struggling team after suffering through three losses to three of the NFC’s best teams. There should be a fair amount of scoring in prime time.

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