On Monday Night, the 1-6 Chicago Bears host the 5-1 Minnesota Vikings in what could be the Bears’ last chance to keep their playoff hopes alive.
OK, I’ll admit, I couldn’t even type that sentence with a straight face. The Bears are playing for the future and as fans, all we can do is root for the youngsters to play well and show us that there is hope for 2017.
Leonard Floyd, Cody Whitehair, Jordan Howard, Eddie Goldman, Bryce Callahan, Adrian Amos and Cameron Meredith are some of the young players I’ll be keeping an eye on as the Bears finish up the 2016 season.
Here’s how us Windy City Gridiron staffers see the Monday Nighter going.
Ken @WCGBearsDenDude: Bears 10 - Vikings 9
Yes, I am actually taking the Bears, based on several factors. Iv'e been watching the Vikings, and frankly their offense has laid an egg recently. Their OL is not protecting well, the Vikings run game is non-factor, and as Lester said in his recent 3 keys to beating the Vikings T-Formation Conversation podcast, Chicago CAN force Sam Bradford to beat us... I think we can stop them. If we lose this game, it will be either because of turnovers leading to points (I'm looking at you, Jay Cutler... be CONSERVATIVE with that ball) or because we get shut out. Chicago must do whatever it can to keep that fierce Vikings pass rush at bay.
Jeff @gridironborn: Vikings 27 - Bears 20
Steven @SJS_illini: Vikings 24 - Bears 17
The Bears lead in the third quarter before the Vikings sit on Cutler's head in the 4th, score a touchdown to lead and a late field goal.
Robert @RobertZeglinski: Vikings 31 - Bears 20
As much as the Bears offense will look better with Cutler, the Vikings number one pass defense is still apt to force him into a few mistakes to set up short fields for Minnesota. The only way the Bears can win this game is if they get the ground game going, but seeing as the Vikings have the number two rushing defense, there's nothing for the Bears to exploit.
EJ @thedraftsmanFB: Vikings 17 - Bears 16
The Bears O has trouble denting the Vikings D, and when they do they get FG's. Vikings O is not much better, but the Bears D is worse... so Minnesota prevails.
Steve @Ronk_WCG: Vikings 20 - Bears 10
Jack @readjack: Vikings 24 - Bears 13
Vikings have allowed only one 20-point game. Bears have scored only one 20-point game. Jay's back from injury and gets one TD to Alshon, but team can't punch it in otherwise. Barth goes 2-3 on FGs including one that clanks off the right post from 42. Vikings put the game away with a 4th-quarter pick-six as Jay goes to Alshon for the 15th and final time while driving for the lead.
Josh: Vikings 27 - Bears 20
Slow start dooms the Bears out of the gate.
Sam @SamHouseholder: Vikings 17 - Bears 10
Both are bad offenses, the Vikings D is obviously the best in the league. It's a tough spot for the Bears to be in, I think this is a low-scoring game and if the Vikings that played against the Eagles show up it's going to be an ugly, turnover fest.
The other X-factor that I forgot to mention in my preview was the Vikings special teams: their punt returner Marcus Sherel has two PR TDs already, Bears special teams has been OK this year but that's something that could easily happen.
I'm thinking a D/ST TD for the Vikings and possibly a blown coverage TD, Cutler throws multiple picks and the chorus of "Get him out of here" grow.
Lester @wiltfongjr: Vikings 17 - Bears 14
If the Vikes were still undefeated, then maybe they look past the struggling Bears, but I see then controlling most of this game until a late Jay Cutler led TD drive makes it look close.
Then again, if the Bears execute the Three Keys, Bears win 17-13!
Superfans: Bears 34 - Vikings 3
Sorry to disappoint the Viking fans and Bears haters out there, but The Beloved will right the ship and begin their march to 10 wins and the NFC North Crown.
It’ll be like déjà vu all over again.
What do you guys predict for the game?