The Bears (4-9) get yet another primetime showcase for their disappointing team Monday night against the Vikings. If injuries and poor play aren’t big enough issues for Chicago they now face a Covid outbreak. 10 players and all three coordinators have entered Covid protocols for this week.
Minnesota (6-7) meanwhile, have played absolutely wild games all season long with numerous last second finishes. RB Dalvin Cook and WR Justin Jefferson are two unbelievable offensive weapons that contribute to a top-10 unit. Quarterback Kirk Cousins can be terrific some days and pretty pedestrian on others.
The defense is an entirely different story and has struggled throughout 2021. The secondary has often broken down in the fourth quarter and allowed teams to come back. No lead is safe and no deficit is too high for this Vikes team, excitement is the order of the day.
It’s impossible to know what to expect from a squad that beat the Packers and then lost to the formerly winless Lions. The Bears could easily win this game or it could be another disappointing effort in a long string of futility.
Chicago might as well give their fans something to cheer about this week and if it means knocking the Vikings out of the playoffs that would be a nice bonus.
Where to Watch/Listen
- Monday, December 20 at 7:20pm CT on ESPN, WBBM Radio (English), and WRTO Radio (Spanish)
Keys to Victory
- Press the Vikings secondary. Minnesota have had huge problems defending pass and just Saturday they cut their starting cornerback Bashaud Breeland after a verbal altercation with the coaches. Justin Fields needs to take some deep shots down the field to get the kind of big plays the Bears put together in the first half against Green Bay.
- Try to limit how much Cook gets on the ground. Dalvin Cook is going to get some yards but he cannot put up the huge running totals he’s capable of if Chicago wants to stay in this one.
- Put pressure on Kirk Cousins. If he’s got time to throw Cousins can be a lights out quarterback but put some stress on him and he will make mistakes. Robert Quinn has been playing out of his mind, the Bears could use more of that Monday night.
- Matt Nagy take a risk or two. The Bears coach again played it very conservative against the Packers on Sunday night. He even admitted he regretted not going for a 4th and inches late in the third quarter. Will he learn his lesson? Well, it’s Matt Nagy so don’t get your hopes up.
Don’t Tell Me the Odds
The sports books have the Vikings as six point favorites on the road against the Bears. An over/under at 44.5 is a sign Vegas feels the Bears defunct offense will drag down the score.
The Vikings don’t play boring games so I’m expecting an interesting ending. Call me a cockeyed optimist, because, I think Justin Fields leads a last-minute drive and gives the Bears an early Christmas present. Chicago will win 27-24 on a Darnell Mooney touchdown.
Official Bears Preview
Here are Bears analysts Jeff Joniak and Tom Thayer with their preview of the Bears’ upcoming Week 15 matchup.