Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings
Two teams mired at the bottom of the NFC North meet at Soldier Field as the Chicago Bears host the Minnesota Vikings. The Bears are -3 point favorites over the Vikings with an over/under point total set at 42.5.
The Chicago Bears are the defending NFC North Champions but with both teams head of them, the Packers and the Lions, undefeated and each owning a win over the Bears times are getting desperate in a hurry. The offensive line simply hasn’t help up and QB Jay Cutler is taking a beating as he has been sacked 18 times while completing 58.6 percent of his passes for 1209 yards with six touchdowns and four interceptions. Matt Forte is averaging 5.4 yards per carry in his contract year and he is the teams’ leading receiver with 30 catches. Dane Sanzenbacher has 16 catches and two touchdowns while Johnny Knox has 14 catches for 254 yards. The Bears’ game plan has always revolved around the defense but the year the Bears are the fourth worst in the NFL in yards allowed per game at 419.6. The Chicago defense has nine sacks, four fumble recoveries, and four interceptions. Lace Briggs is the leading Bears’ tackler with 45 followed by Tim Jennings with 32, and Charles Tillman and Brian Urlacher with 31 each.
The Minnesota Vikings have led in every game they have played this season and this past Sunday they were finally able to build a lead they were able to hold onto as they go their first win of the season. Donovan McNabb isn’t the same player we knew many years ago in Philadelphia going to the NFC Championship every season but at times he has made all of the throws while other times, he seems to throw passes with no plan behind them. McNabb has completed 56.8 percent of his passes for four touchdowns and two interceptions while being sacked 11 times. Adrian Peterson is still the premier running back in the game and after a big week last week he is up to six touchdowns and 498 yards. Percy Harvin is simply a playmaker but it’s Michael Jenkins who leads Minnesota in catches with 20. The Vikings defense allows 348.2 yards per game while sacking opposing QB’s 16 times, recovering four fumbles, and intercepting six passes. Antoine Winfield leads the Vikes with 35 tackles followed by Chad Greenway with 33 and E.J. Henderson with 29.
Chicago is 1-5-1 against the spread following a loss, 0-4 against the spread in their last four games overall, and 5-1-1 against the spread after scoring less than 15 points in their previous game. Minnesota is 4-10 against the spread in their last 14 road games, 2-6 against the spread as a road underdog, and 0-5-1 against the spread in their last six games against the NFC North. The home team has covered five of the last six meetings of these two.
This game sets up to be a defensive game played between the 20’s with the Vikings pass rush and the Bears being susceptible to being sacked and the Vikings innate ability to shoot themselves in the foot. My play on this one is on the under.