The Minnesota Vikings (4-2) travel to Chicago (2-4) for an epic battle in the NFC North at 1 PM (ET). The Vikings are 1-2 on the road and the Bears are 1-2 at home. Let’s take a look at the glorious matchups to watch at the Space Ship (Solider Field) on Sunday.
Chew on This
Adrian Peterson is having another strong season with the Vikings rushing for 4.4 YPC and 530 yards. The Bears give up 4.5 YPC on the ground (25th in league). Peterson should run wild barring some slips on the Soldier Field mud pit. Peterson does have 3 fumbles on the season and a fumble that didn’t count due to an offside by the dumbass Lions. Bridgewater had a botched handoff to Peterson last week too that was lost.
Is Running Your Forte?
Matt Forte is having a solid season with 507 yards at 4.0 YPC and 2 TDs. The Vikings are poor against the run too allowing 4.5 YPC on the season. Forte must have a big game to avoid the Vikings destroying Cutler with their strong pass rush. The Vikings are weak against the run and Forte should have a nice day on the ground.
The Vikings have a very strong pass rush with Everson Griffen, Shariff Floyd, Linval Joseph, Brian Robison and blitzing LBs. Chicago will probably block the Vikings rushers unlike Detroit but Minnesota still holds the edge. Forcing pressure on Cutler will lead to interceptions. The Vikings defense has forced only 4 interceptions on the year but must force a few of Cutler this week.
The Bears don’t have much of a pass rush other than Pernell McPhee (4 sacks) and Jarvis Jenkins (3.5 sacks). The Vikings give up a good amount of pressure and continue to miss John Sullivan and Phil Loadholdt due to injuries. The Bears could generate some pressure on Bridgewater. The key will be containing Bridgewater on scrambles and on throws on the run. If Peterson has a big day, Bridgewater won’t have to do much though and can limit the Bears pass rush.
Alshon Jeffrey has played well in two of the two games he has played. Jeffrey had 147 yards and a TD against an awful Detroit secondary in Week 6 and 78 yards against Green Bay. Eddie Royal is a decent slot option and Martellus Bennett is having a solid year averaging 48 yards per game with 2 TDs. Forte is a threat in the passing game too. Cutler has plenty of weapons to beat the Vikings secondary. He will need time in the pocket to do so which is easier said than done against the Vikings.
The Vikings have done well with the emergence of Stefon Diggs. Diggs has 86 yards, 129 yards and 108 yards and a TD in the three games he has played this season. Wallace (292 yards) has been average and not the deep threat anticipated. Charles Johnson missed 3 games with an injury and has been replaced by Diggs. Rudolph only has 123 yards on the season but does have 3 TD catches. However, the Bears are allowing a 111 QB rating to opposing QBs and only forced 3 interceptions on the year. This is the game for the Vikings weapons to break out.
Vikings win the game 28-21 due to a big day by Peterson and an efficient Bridgewater. The Vikings move closer to a wild card spot and the Bears are almost eliminated from real contention.