CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 11: (L-R) Nick Roach #53, Henry Melton #69 and Julius Peppers #90 of the Chicago Bears await the start of play against the Atlanta Falcons at Soldier Field on September 11, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears defeated the Falcons 30-12. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Nick Roach; Henry Melton; Julius Peppers
The Chicago Bears have always had the reputation of being a team that thrives in the harsh environs of Soldier Field, but they are potentially going to be put to a stern test on Sunday afternoon against the Minnesota Vikings.
That's because weather forecasts are predicting rain to hit the lakefront stadium on Sunday. The National Weather Service puts the probability at 60 percent, with Intellicast agreeing with that number.
The rain would obviously change the complexion of the game by itself, but there's also the matter of what condition the field will be in at the stadium. That's because the University of Illinois is playing a game on Saturday afternoon against the University of Washington, and with less than a 24-hour turnaround between games, things could get very interesting on a field that isn't exactly known for being a perfectly manicured piece of turf over the years.
The question, then, is if the playing surface does become an issue during the Bears game, will it benefit either team? The answer is that it could give a slight advantage to the home side, both because the Vikings play their home games on artificial turf and because it could slow down the Vikings' run game with Adrian Peterson. If the Vikes are forced to air it out in the passing game, then that could work to the Bears' advantage, as they likely have the superior QB in Jay Cutler.
All of this is speculation, of course, and we have to add the caveat that "only time will tell", but it will be an interesting story to keep an eye on if Mother Nature has her way on the lakefront Sunday