With apologies to Mike Glennon and "his year", it's been eight years since the Chicago Bears were set to unveil a quarterback most of the city was truly excited about. If you'll remember the once traded for Jay Cutler made his debut against the rival Green Bay Packers on "Sunday Night Football" in September 2009. Four interceptions later in a 21-15 loss, that, uh, didn't go so smoothly.
But tonight on "Monday Night Football" at home at Soldier Field, No. 2 overall pick Mitchell Trubisky brings about a new hope, and coincidentally against another rival in the Minnesota Vikings. There's palpable energy and excitement around the Bears for the first time in a long time and for good reason. No matter what happens to the
savior and Trubisky in his debut, that energy won't go away for some time.
Though tonight's atmosphere and environment will be as the kids say, wild. Pressure is nothing new for Trubisky though, regardless of competition.
Here are WCG's staff picks for Bears-Vikings in the #ChurchOfMitchell.
Trubisky isn't going to cure everything that ails the Bears. At least not this year. But he's enough of a spark and expansion of Chicago's offense against a flawed Vikings team at home that ranks 24th defending against the pass. Soldier Field will be electric on Monday night with the prospect of a new hope under center and the Bears as a team, especially defensively (paging Leonard Floyd), will feed off of that energy and take advantage.
Of note: The last four Bears' *major QB's won their first start Vikings home start. Jay Cutler, Kyle Orton, Rex Grossman, Chad Hutchinson.
That strange trend continues. Let Mitch Madness begin.
Bears 26 Vikings 17
Lester Wiltfong Jr.
If the Vikings can establish the run, they'll win behind a ball control offense and a good defense. But with Dalvin Cook out for the season I don't see Latavius Murray or Jerick McKinnon picking up the slack. Which leads to the Bears working on the exact same script. A ball control offense behind Jordan Howard, who went for 153 yards the last time the Vikings came to Chicago, and a good defense that is energized because the offense will be chewing some clock.
Oh yeah, the rookie quarterback will give the Bears a charge too.
Bears 24 Vikings 13
Trubisky does enough to win, but it's infuriating in that the offense still stalls frequently. It ends up being the defense that holds it together, and fans feel optimistic without being wowed.
Bears 17 Vikings 12
I want to pick against the Bears only because I don't trust this team, or the fact that we're all optimistic all of a sudden, but damn it this game feels winnable.
The Vikings offensive line is bad. While Sam Bradford might be back, the defensive backs and pass rush have a chance to keep him out of sync as he eases in. Without Cook though, I don't see where the running attack can come from.
Trubisky plays well, shows the flashes we all want, and the team comes out energized by a frenzied crowd and the threat of a deep passing game. It's enough for a second straight "Monday Night Football" win over the Vikings.
Bears 21, Vikings 17
The Bears are playing at home in what I expect to be a raucous crowd. The players, especially on defense, are going to be fired up. This sets up to be quite possibly the most spirited performance of the John Fox era. While I don't think Trubisky comes out and has an All-Pro performance, his skill-set is such that the offense should be able to give the Vikings defense a lot of new looks. With Cook lost for the season, the Vikings running game will struggle to get on track. This is finally the game where the defense gets to play with a lead against a sub-par quarterback.
Bears 24 Vikings 17
Rex Grossman's first career start was against the Vikings, and we won 13-10. So let's give our new guy the edge over Rex with one more point off of another touchdown instead of two field goals.
And speaking of Rex, if you thought Soldier Field was electric in 2005 the night he got his first action of the season for the 2nd half against Atlanta, just wait until you see Bears fans welcome the kid Monday night. The place will be madness.
And speaking of madness, is it possible that for the first time this season, the Bears will actually have the edge at quarterback over their opponent? I think so. I'll take the rookie in his first career game over either Case Keenum or a just-back-from-injury Sam Bradford, thank you.
Bears 14 Vikings 10
As much as Trubisky is a likely improvement, and as much of a Holy Grail 20-plus points is for the Bears offensively, I feel like it takes some Soldier Field Vikings Voodoo and the Bad Vikings to show up. I think it happens.
Bears 23 Vikings 16
Bradford manages two touchdowns and a field goal on the road with veteran guile. Meanwhile, Trubisky moves the Bears offense with more authority than Glennon ever did, but is harassed by a healthy dose of blitzes from Mike Zimmer's aggressive defense.
Vikings 17 Bears 16
The Bears beat the Steelers by six. The Steelers beat the Vikings by 17. It stands to reason that the Bears will beat the Vikings by 23. Do not over think this. Definitely do not think about the fact that the Vikings beat the Buccaneers by 17 as well, so the Bears must have beat the Buccaneers by 40. Just ride the Biscuit hype into the blissful heights of unattainable expectations. The Bears have played terrific at home this season, and with the boost they get from an exciting young quarterback, they will romp and stomp all over their unprepared Viking neighbors.
Bears 36 Vikings 13
Is Trubisky a better option than Glennon as the Bears' starting quarterback? Yes. Is he going to make the Bears a lot better right off the bat? Don't bet on it.
A lot of people tend to sleep on the entire Minnesota offense. Bradford is an incredibly underrated quarterback. The Bears could have trouble covering both Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, who are first and third in the league in receiving yards, respectively. Sure, Cook being out may affect the Vikings' run game to some extent, but Murray is a more than capable backup. Minnesota also has the fifth-best run defense in the league so far. While I don't expect Howard and Tarik Cohen to be completely shut down, I don't expect either of them to have phenomenal performances. If the Bears can't get the ground game going, then it puts a lot more pressure on their rookie quarterback.
Other than more diverse play calling, I don't see the quarterback switch having a huge immediate impact on this team.
Vikings 26 Bears 14
Bears 21 Vikings (within three points of them in either direction).
It's not that I trust the Bears this much. It's more that I think the Vikings are really going to struggle to score because they are quite depleted on offense.
Bears 21 Vikings 10
We’ve already sent a thank you card to Jeanne and Dave Trubisky for giving birth to the man that will lead our beloved franchise back to the promised land, and get us back in the lead of the Packers series, and get us back to the top of the list of all time NFL championship lists.
The Future is now.
Bears 42 Vikings 0
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