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NFL Monday Night Preview: Bears vs. Vikings

NFL Monday Night Preview: Bears vs. Vikings

Coming to us from a cold and windy Soldier Field in Chicago by the lake front, we have the 3-5 Minnesota Vikings coming in to take on the 5-4 Chicago Bears led by Nick Foles in a big NFC North confrontation on Monday Night Football.  The Vikings are 3.5-point favorites, and this is a huge chance for the Bears to stay in the postseason running.

The Bears Are On The Prowl

The Bears have won the last four games over Minnesota under head coach Matt Nagy, who took over the Chicago team in 2018.  But the Bears have been slipping lately and the Vikings look to be on a roll, albeit a gentle one.  Normally, the team with the best record is going to be favored to win the next game, but not so tonight.  It’s Kirk Cousins and his Vikings team that are favored against the Bears by 3.5 points.  But the Bears are hard to beat at Soldier Field.  Especially in the cold and wind, and when the grass comes up to the players ankles.

After losing their first three games in a row, the Vikings have now won their last 3 out of 5 matches and seem to be on a roll.  That roll is, in great part, thanks to Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook, who is clearly one of the best in the game today.  There are some guys who are as good as Cook, like Derrick Henry and Alvin Kamara, but there are none better than he.

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But Cook has not done so well when playing the Bears.  Perhaps they are keying on him, which is probably a good idea as there is no one else on the Vikings teams quite as dangerous as Dalvin Cook.

The Vikings Are In Postseason Mode

Should the Vikings get past the Bears tonight, they might just end up with a pretty good season after all because their schedule has the Dallas Cowboys, then the Carolina Panthers, with the Jacksonville Jaguars next on the ticket.  Win them all and Minnesota could climb out of the NFC North cellar and finish with a respectable 7-5 record.  Not bad after starting 0-3.

On the other hand, the Chicago Bears come into this Monday Night contest having lost their last 3 games in a row including most recently losing to the Tennessee Titans by a final score of 24-17 even after holding the fearsome Derrick Henry to just 68 rushing yards on the evening.  If they can hold Dalvin Cook to just 68 yards, their odds to win the game will go way up.

The Bears started 5-2, including coming out on top when they played the Tampa Bay Buccaneers with Tom Brady and slipped by them with a final score of Bears 20-Bucs 19.  But now they have lost their last three games in a row to the Rams, the Saints and the Titans.

After getting off to that terrible start, Bears head coach Matt Nagy had finally had enough of Mitchell Trubisky and replaced him with the usually highly dependable Nick Foles.  Since then, however, even Foles has not been up to par and the Bears are struggling because of it.

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The Chicago offense is last in the league in rushing and 29 overall in scoring, having only managed to put up 19.8 points per game so far this season.  Add that to the fact that the Bears have a lot of guys on the IR and some already down for the season and see why the Vikings are slight favorites at Soldier Field tonight.

What The Oddsmakers Say

Here is the morning line.  Vikings -3.5 (-110), Bears +3.5 (-110).  The Moneyline says the Minnesota Vikings -178 and the Chicago Bears at +150.  The Over/Under for the game is at 43.5.  The weather looks clear of rain, but it will be cold and that wind off the lake can be brutal.

Jeff Goldberg is the former team reporter for the San Diego Fleet in the Alliance of American Football. Earlier in his career, Jeff covered the Boston Red Sox (2007-08) and UConn women’s basketball team (2001-06) for his hometown newspaper, The Hartford Courant. Jeff, who was also an editorial producer at MLB.com from 2012-14, wrote two books about the UConn women: “Bird at the Buzzer” (2011) and “Unrivaled” (2015). He lives in San Diego with his wife, Susan, and good boi doggo, Rocky.

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