Bears at Vikings: Preview, Prediction, Odds

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports
Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports /

Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings

Bottom dwellers of the NFC North division, the last place Chicago Bears and the third place Minnesota Vikings face many glaring questions heading into next season. Chicago’s defense saw improvement under John Fox. However, the dismal amount of injuries and inconsistencies on offense has really hindered this prideful Bears team.

It’s unknown if Chicago staples, Jay Cutler and Alshon Jeffrey, will return in a Bears uniform next season. Matt Barkley has been a roller coaster ride under center since taking over, Chicago can almost guarantee that they will be dipping into the quarterback pool during the draft.

The Vikings will go into the 2017-18 season with questions of who will be under center. Sam Bradford has had an incredible season in the purple and gold, while Teddy Bridgewater’s status hangs in the balance on whether he’ll be able to return from his gruesome injury.

Minnesota also has some tough decisions to make when it comes to their salary cap. Their unmanned and under-performing offensive line was one of the highest paid in the league. Moreover, Adrian Peterson is set to make an astonishing $18 million next year, and the Vikings will need to make decisions on paying guys like Xavier Rhodes, Sharif Floyd, and Cordarrelle Patterson as well.

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Will Minnesota be able to resign Sam Bradford as well? A lot of issues will arise after these two bring this season to a close on Sunday.

But what will it take for each team to earn a closing win?

Keys to Victory

Chicago brought the intensity and a physical nature when they beat up on Minnesota during their matchup at Soldier Field. They’ll need to bring the pain again in Week 17. Jordan Howard ran through this defense to a tune of over 200+ yards of total offense and a couple of touchdowns. This vaunted Vikings defense has sprung leak after leak during their losing streak. Matt Barkley will test this defense downfield, specifically targeting Alshon Jeffrey in the red zone.

Of all the positions to go astray, it was surprising to see this Vikings defensive secondary completely ignore its coaches decision when they’ve been successful all season. For at least the final game of the season, Minnesota’s defense needs to pull it together. On offense, both Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs have an opportunity to become 1,000-yard wide receivers, so it would not be a surprise to see Sam Bradford air it out early and often.

Whether Peterson plays, or if Minnesota fans will ever see him again in a Vikings jersey, remains a mystery. Could this be the last of AD in Minny? If so it’s been a remarkable run for one of the best backs to ever do it.


Point Spread: Minnesota -6
Moneyline: Chicago +210, Minnesota -250
Over/Under: 42.5


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This Chicago team isn’t a team that can upset the Vikings again this season, especially at home. Down to their third quarterback, and numerous leaks throughout their offense and defense, a road victory simply isn’t there. The Vikings let last Saturday get away from them versus the Packers, but I doubt this defense will run astray again in the season finale at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Pick: Chicago Bears: 17, Minnesota Vikings: 30