The Minnesota Vikings enter Soldier Field as 6.5-point favorites on Monday. Should they be concerned about a potential upset? Or are the Chicago Bears facing too much adversity in this one? Chicago already has 14 players out with COVID, Matt Nagy is on the hot seat, and their season is all but over at 4-9.
Can the Vikings put away a hapless Bears team? Or will they lose to a team that Mike Zimmer is 1-5 against in the last three years?
Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you two Purple dreams and a Bears nightmare.
The Vikings forget they’re in Chicago
Here’s the deal: The Vikings suck when they play in Chicago. Even when they win, it’s not pretty. That’s why, in a dream scenario, they suffer amnesia and forget they are at the will of an inanimate football stadium.
The Vikings must not play like they usually do in Chi-Town. There’s some weird curse (one of many) that goes over the Vikings when they walk into Soldier, so I’m just hoping this game is one where the Vikings don’t perform poorly for seemingly no reason — especially considering the Bears have looked bad lately.
The Vikings haven’t been great either. But when you look at this matchup, it’s evident the Vikings are the stronger team. They should be able to expose a Bears defense that has a lot of players out, even if it looks like their mortal enemy Akiem Hicks will play.
I know it’s silly that I’m just asking for the Vikings to play a normal game. If you’re a Vikings fan, you know that’s a lot to ask for – especially considering it’s a primetime game on Monday night.
The Vikings get creative on the ground game
Offensive creativity is a dream every week, and it’s entirely within Klint Kubiak’s control, which is good news. The bad news is that sometimes the play-calling is just flat. But that’s where this matchup comes in.
The Bears are pretty bad on all facets of defense, except the pass rush. While that’s not good news for the Vikings’ offensive line, it’s fantastic for Dalvin Cook and Kene Nwangwu with Alexander Mattison out.
One more interesting aspect is whether or not Nwangwu is the answer as a second-string half back. Mattison is a free agent after next season, so the Vikings may have to move on. Whether or not Nwangwu is better doesn’t matter either way because he already has tremendous value on special teams.
I feel like I say this every week, but it’s time for the run game to really shine. Cook went absolutely nuts despite having a bum shoulder last week, so maybe it’s time to give Nwangwu some reps in relief and spice up the run game – he’s so special at making plays. It could make this game an easy W.
Justin Fields has a good game
There are layers to this nightmare. It’s like Inception, and the Vikings are your one friend who still doesn’t understand the film no matter how many times you read them the description on IMDB.
Rumor has it the Vikings wanted Fields and were unwilling to pay the price to trade up in the 2020 NFL Draft to get him. Then the Bears went ahead and pulled the trigger to move up and land the highly anticipated rookie quarterback.
If Fields has a good game, Mike Zimmer and Rick Spielman’s seats could be even hotter than they already are. Not that it really matters, but knowing the Vikings, it’s not ideal to have even more negative attention.
If the Vikings lose to a Fields-led Bears team, it’s even worse. At that point, blow it up. But that’s only a nightmare, right? Right?!?