Bears-Vikings matchup of the day: Thursday

Posted Dec. 29, 2011 @ 4:42 p.m.
Posted By Dan Parr

Here's a look at a key matchup heading into Sunday's battle between the Bears and Vikings.

Bears defense vs. Vikings WR Percy Harvin

With Adrian Peterson sidelined after tearing his ACL in Week 16, the Vikings will be relying on Harvin, a speedy receiver and explosive playmaker, as much as ever.

Minnesota will use him in the slot, split out wide and he'll line up in the backfield, too (he's gaining 7.1 yards per carry this season). The Vikings will motion Harvin before the snap and the Bears will need to account for him all afternoon. If Bears S Major Wright makes a mistake like he did last week — when he bit on a fake from WR Jordy Nelson and was out of position to break up the pass, setting up a 55-yard touchdown — Harvin will be off to the races.

The Bears have been mixing in a good deal of man coverage along with the cover-2 zone this season and players like nickel back D.J. Moore and CBs Charles Tillman and Zack Bowman could find themselves matched up with Harvin one-on-one at times.

Harvin has burned the Bears before. In five career games vs. Chicago, Harvin is averaging five catches for 71 yards. He has scored three touchdowns against the Bears, including a 53-yarder in Week 10 last season at Soldier Field.

Follow Dan Parr on Twitter