It’s do or die time for the Chicago Bears as they take on their NFC North rival today, the Minnesota Vikings, with more than just bragging rights on the line (8.15pm ET; TV: Live on ESPN).
This week 10 finale could well make or break the playoff hopes of the Bears, who looked so promising just a few weeks ago. It could also boost the playoff hopes of the Vikings, which only recently have begun to materialize. So how will our Minnesota Vikings vs Chicago Bears predictions work out? This Monday Night Football preview will answer that question.
It wasn’t that long ago that the Bears were 5-1, leading the NFC North and looking every bit like the contender fans have long wanted them to be. Then the law of averages kicked in and so did the meat of Chicago’s schedule. Now they are staring down the wrong end of a three-game skid that has their record at 5-4 and right in the middle of the pack. Even with an expanded postseason, getting in with a .500 record is going to be a tough act to come by.
In many ways, and we’ve said this before, what’s happening to the Bears isn’t all that surprising. The team is very much who we thought they were. Chicago is a team that benefited from a pretty light early schedule. During that 5-1 run, the Bears faced just two opponents with a winning record. They won one of those games against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Of the Bears other four wins, they came against teams who currently have a combined 13 wins over the first 10 weeks of the season. That’s abysmal to say the least. The Bears played their schedule and did what they needed to do over that stretch. They won the games they should have won. Then the harder matchups came and Chicago is now carrying an 0-3 losing streak.
Fortunately for the Bears, who are shaping up to be just an average team this year, the Vikings are worse. What seemed would be a promising season for the Vikings has severely gone wrong for a Minnesota team that won 10 games last year. If the Vikings hope to match that total this year, they’ll have to win seven of their remaining eight games. It’s a highly unlikely outcome for Minnesota, which has definitely underachieved in 2020.
Woes in Minnesota
The Vikings made the conscious decision in the offseason to trade Stefon Diggs to the Buffalo Bills in exchange for a slew of draft picks both from this past draft and the one in 2021. While evaluating draft talent in one’s first year is unwise, it is hard to say the Vikings got the better of that trade. With the 22nd overall pick they got from the Diggs’ trade, the Vikings picked Justin Jefferson to replace their former top wide receiver. The rookie has caught just 34 passes over the first nine weeks for Minnesota and has totaled a little over 600 yards. All in all, not a bad number but when you look at what Diggs has done in Buffalo, there is no comparison. Diggs has been everything the Bills needed and currently leads all NFL receivers both in total receptions (63), and yards (813).
Now, that’s not to say having Diggs would suddenly have fixed the other woes the Vikings have struggled with this year, but his presence is undoubtedly missed.
Remember earlier in this preview when I said the Vikings were a worse team than the Bears? Well, if we are looking purely at records, then yes, that’s true. The thing is, football games aren’t won on paper. If they were, 2020 would look much different.
Over the past two weeks, Chicago and Minnesota have headed in different directions. Injuries on offense have piled up for the Bears and they’ve struggled against the weight of two very tough opponents. Defense remains Chicago’s best asset as the running game is stilted with David Montgomery out in concussion protocol and the passing game is hurt by the absence of Allen Robinson. Nick Foles can’t stay upright as the Bears’ line has been flimsy and he has struggled as a result. You can look up and down the field, every area of Chicago’s offense needs significant work right now and it has showed.
The Vikings have got something going. They are coming off back-to-back weeks of division victories against the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. Should they win today, they’ll complete the trifecta. There is every reason to believe Minnesota can get it done if the past two weeks are any indication. After a sluggish, miserable start to his season, Kirk Cousins is starting to earn his money. He has thrown for 340 yards and four touchdowns in those two wins. Most importantly, he has had no interceptions. The Vikings have also gotten Dalvin Cook going. Cook has been absolutely insane the past two weeks and has been a catalyst to Minnesota’s victories. He has got six touchdowns and over 400 all-purpose yards. Jefferson too, seems to be hitting his stride, starting to make up for some of the production lost by Diggs being in Buffalo.
Point being, the Vikings are on the upswing and the Bears are in a tailspin. One of those two things is going to change tonight. Right now, if we had to guess, it seems it will be Vikings streak that keeps going strong. Chicago is who we thought they were and now, Minnesota is playing like how we thought they would too.
Our Betting Preview’s Minnesota Vikings vs Chicago Bears Predictions & Picks Verdict
Belief in the Vikings has been on the rise and the top online United States’ bookies have seen that too. The Vikings are three-point favorites in this one and that feels like just the right point margin. Divisional games always carry an extra layer of intensity, so it’s hard to predict any kind of blowout. In this case, Minnesota and Chicago are pretty tightly bunched. We give the advantage to the Vikings but Foles has surprised many before with his performances so it’s never wise to count him out. These are USAbetting’s Minnesota Vikings vs Chicago Bears predictions for this Monday Night Football preview: