This time of year every game is do-or-die for teams with postseason aspirations, and the week 15 Bears at Vikings pick is no different. Both squads are 6-7, sitting in the 8th and 9th spot for the last postseason slot that #7 Arizona currently holds. A win lets you survive to week 16, a loss means start making offseason travel plans.
The Vikings are -3 home favorites at U.S. Bank Stadium, and did notch a 19-13 win at Chicago in week 10 as -3.5 favorites. The Bears have looked better the last two games in what should’ve been a win over Detroit and a 36-7 thumping of Houston last week. Minnesota needed OT to beat Jacksonville (!) and didn’t show up vs. Tampa in their last two. Tough one to call here.
Chicago Seeing Improved Play From Trubisky
Mitch Trubisky is giving Chicago management something to think about this offseason as he’s played well the last two games. The heavily scrutinized QB was 26/34 vs. Detroit before a costly late fumble, but rebounded for a 24/33, 3 TD day last week to outplay Deshaun Watson. Even Trubisky’s 3 TD/2INT day vs. Green Bay in the return to the starting lineup in week 12 wasn’t a horrible outing.
In a classic chicken-or-egg situation, Trubisky’s play is also improving Chicago’s once woeful running game; or vice-versa. David Montgomery had 103 yards vs. Green Bay, scored 2 TDs vs. Detroit, and scampered for an 80-yard TD on the Bears first offensive play last week vs. Houston. The Vikings are 19th defensively vs. the run, but also 25th against the pass.
What we all want to see in the Bears at Vikings pick is what version of the Chicago defense shows up in the Twin Cities? That side of the ball had a rare finger pointed at them after allowing a 402 yard, 3 TD performance to Matthew Stafford in week 13, but looked like Monsters in sacking Watson 7 times last week, and holding Houston to 155 net passing yards.
Vikings Passing Game Stepping Up?
For as good as he’s been as the NFL’s second leading rusher with 1,352 yards, Dalvin Cook has had his share of struggles running against the Bears. Cook had 96 yards, but on 30 carries in the first meeting with Chicago this season and now averages just 45.5 yards/game with 1 TD in four matchups with the Bears.
If Cook is contained again, the Minnesota passing game will have to step up and conditions are ripe for that with Jaylon Johnson (shoulder), Buster Skrine (concussion), and Deon Bush (foot) all missing from the Chicago secondary on Sunday. Cousins has 10 TD to 1 INT the last four weeks, and rookie Justin Jefferson got loose for 8 catches and 135 yards in the first meeting with Chicago.
Free Bears at Vikings Pick
Seven straight meetings between these two NFC North foes have gone ‘under’ Sunday’s total of 46.5, but that should change in this tilt. The Bears are moving the ball well in both aspects of their offense, while Cousins has two explosive receivers in Jefferson and Adam Thielen to throw to against Chicago’s banged up secondary. Chicago could win this outright or lay an egg, but either way points should be there.
Bears 34 – Vikings 30
Free Pick: Over 46.5