Boxers have had easier nights than Campbell had. If nothing else, the 49ers exposed the blueprint of how to dominate the Bears. It can be argued that Campbell has more mobility than Cutler, which actually made him a less stationary target when the Niners ripped the Bears for eight sacks.
As San Francisco showed this week with starting QB Alex Smith, the new era dawning in the NFL in terms of dealing with concussions is a new world order. By all accounts, Smith was on track to return to the lineup Monday night, until he took a post-concussion stress test that had the medicos delaying his return.
Whether the Vikings play Cutler or Campbell, the one thing that will remain the same is that, for two of the next three weeks, the offensive line of the Bears remains BSC-ineligible heading into a pair of games with the Vikings. Unless something changes, Bears quarterbacks are going to be referred to as the Last Man Standing.
Just as the Vikings were viewed as a legitimate playoff contender heading into 2009 with one glaring exception (quarterback) before some guy from Kiln, Miss. showed up and put a hitch in our collective giddy-up, so it is with the Bears of 2012. They have as many interception returns for touchdowns (seven) as they have rushing TDs. If they get behind by double digits, a comeback appears all but impossible. Why? They have a glaring weakness – the Not-So-Fab-Five up front on the O-line.
As surely will be pointed out this week, the Bears are a classic front-runner. When they're ahead, they have a swagger like few others. But there is a man behind the curtain in clear view. When they play good teams, they lose. Chicago has played four teams that currently have a winning record. One was in Week 1 when the Bears defense gave Andrew Luck a personal toilet-swirly in his NFL debut. In the 10 games the Bears have played since, they have faced three teams with a winning record – Green Bay, Houston and San Francisco. In those three games, the Bears have been outscored 68-23. The defense doesn't score touchdowns against good teams and Chicago gets its collective butt kicked.
Are the Vikings an elite team? We'll find out in the next three weeks when they get to go after the suspect Bears O-line twice.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.