On this week’s edition of Monday Night Football, the Minnesota Vikings travel to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Bears. The big story heading into this game is that rookie first round draft pick Mitchell Trubisky will get the start for Da Bears. There’s more than just winds swirling this game as the buzz is growing over the rookie’s debut. Kickoff inside Soldier Field is at 8:30 PM ET.
The Minnesota Vikings (2-2) come into this game with the mantra – “the next man up.” Not only have they played with their backup quarterback for the last few games, but they now have to play with their backup running backs as stud rookie rusher Dalvin Cook is out for the year with a knee injury. Cook was the only real bright spot on an offense that’s only averaging 19 points per game. Will they be able to generate more points against the Bears?
Chicago (1-3) finally benched Mike Glennon after 4 games. Many of us thought the benching should’ve been sooner. After a blowout loss to Green Bay, it was clear that a change was needed. Trubisky brings some excitement to this otherwise boring matchup between two struggling teams.
The spread opened with the Vikings favored by 3.5 points. It has since gone down to 2.5 points. The Over/Under is currently at 40 total points after opening at 40.5 points.
The Trubisky era is officially underway in Chicago. The rookie has showed flashes of potential in the preseason, but now comes the real test. Can he have success in a regular season game? In short, no he will not. Trubisky has all the tools to be a stud quarterback, but he’s going up against a solid Vikings defense who only gives up 19 points per game. Additionally, they’re one of the best defenses against the run as they only allow 75 rushing yards per game. So, I see the Vikings shutting down Howard and Cohen, forcing Trubisky to beat them.
Minnesota did a fantastic job of shutting down the high powered Detroit Lions offense last week, but couldn’t put up more than 7 points and loss the game. This week, I see the Vikings holding the bears to below their season average of 15 points per game and getting a much needed division victory.
For the Bears, they have relied heavily on the run game. This is due to not having any receivers that can win one-on-one matchups. Coming into this game, the Bears only average 208 passing yards. Can you see why they benched Glennon? Howard and Cohen tag-teamed the Steelers two weeks ago to get their only win of the season. It was a brilliant overtime victory where Chicago’s run game was dominant. Unfortunately, that’s not going to happen this week.
I expect the Vikings to wreak havoc on the Bears offense this week. Look for the Purple People Eaters to force a few turnovers and get several sacks on Trubisky.
On the offense, Minnesota will rely on Murray and McKinnon to pick up the plays and yards that Cook normally produced. Minnesota won’t be as effective as they were with Cook, but the Bears defense is bad enough to where Minnesota will get some big plays and surpass their 19 ppg average. Chicago is giving up 26 points per game and 320 total yards per game. Although they have been solid against the run, I expect Minnesota and Case Keenum to chew up the Bears in the passing game.
Minnesota is 6-3 ATS in their last 9 games against Chicago. The Vikings are also 15-7 ATS in their last 22 games when they are the favorite and 7-2 ATS in their last 9 games versus a team with a losing record. The Bears are 2-4 ATS in their last 6 games.
I see the Vikings winning the TOP, the turnover battle, field position and the game. Look for Minnesota to win by at least a touchdown as they ride their defense to victory on Monday night. I’m thinking that the Vikings win 20-9 and get above .500 on the season.