The Professor

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It's ELEMENT-ary; Bears can and should beat Vikings on MNF

Brad Palmer

Covered sports for 40 years at WGN, WBBM Newradio 78, and WLS-TV (CH 7)

It's quite obvious Minnesota is a much better team than the Bears. But the Vikings are two different teams when it comes to playing on artificial turf and in warm weather as opposed to playing on grass and in cold weather.

Since 2001, the Vikings are 11-30 on grass and 13-37 outdoors.

The Bears have beaten Minnesota in 6 of their last 7 games at Soldier Field. Three of the Bears victories were in December. The lone Viking victory came in mid-October.

Brett Favre is 12-2 in his last 14 games at Soldier Field; both loses were in December. Favre is 1-7 on the road when the gametime temp is under 34 degrees (1-6 as a Packer and 0-1 as a Jet). It was 37 degrees with a windchill of 33 when the Vikings lost last Sunday at Carolina 26-7. But wait, it gets even better.

Only 5 of Jay Cutler's league-high 25 interceptions have come at home.

The Bears are +11 in turnover differential at home, while Minnesota is -4 on grass.

The Vikings average 7.6 yards per pass play on turf, but only 5.7 on grass, which puts them on a par with the Bears. Their percentage of passes for touchdowns on turf is 7%; on grass it's 4%, same as the Bears.

The Vikings outscore opponents an average of 16 points a game on turf; on grass it's even.

Bottom line, the conditions at Soldier Field Monday night (temperature in the 20's with a windchill likely in the teens) should make for a close game, with turnovers most likely deciding the outcome. While the Bears have a terrible record on the road on Monday night, they are 11-11 at home. 

I'm not sure how this is going to play with Bears fans. The ones I've spoken with want them to keep losing to force the organization to clean house. An upset victory over Minnesota might give the McCaskeys an excuse to stay the course. I sure hope not. A Bears victory should be viewed in its proper context and not alter the big picture. Of course, there can be no excuse if the Bears lose.

Brett Favre's numbers have been on the decline in recent weeks, as have Adrian Peterson's and those numbers don't figure to improve Monday, unless the Bears roll over. The cold, slippery field, and slick ball are all to the Bears advantage. Let's see if they can make the most of it.

The Professor's Pick: BEARS

Record: 10-4 





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BillW said:


Brad - love your blog. I wish there was more interest in it; you've got HUGE credibility over the other bloggers I read. I love Da Bears Blog as a fan (and I see you comment from time to time) but I wish there would be more activity over here too.

tobijohn said:


I agree with BillW. And BTW, great call on tonight's outcome...

Brad Palmer said:


Thanks fellas. Your comments are most appreciated. I am also surprised that my blog hasn't attracted more interest. Maybe its because I've been retired four years and, thus, not familiar to a younger demographic. Maybe my stuff isn't controversial or outrageous enough. That's okay. My thing has always been substance and providing informed insight and perspective to people like you. I'll continue to leave the fluff and shoot-from-the-hip comments to others. I'm surprised the media hasn't been able to get a handle on who is running the show at Halas Hall, but you are only as good as your sources, and I've maintained some really good ones.

Adam12 said:


I also agree with BillW, you should get more interest than Da Bears Blog. I have a hard time reading that blog because he was born and raised in New Jersey and still lives in New York.

Brad, you have a great hometown feel, you are insightful, and well you know how to call it. Keep writing, I enjoy reading your blog.

Brad Palmer said:


Thanks, Adam-12. It's been fun getting the opportunity to put my research to good use and pass along information you don't get anywhere else. I tell people what I know to be true, and any opinions I express are based on the facts and not emotions or whims. I haven't decided if I'll continue with this blog next season. I told the editor who recruited me that I'd give it a year and go from there. The jury is still out on that, but I'll be here thru the Super Bowl for sure.

Chicago Expatriate said:

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Sports writing and reporting isn't what it used to be in Chicago. Brad is a real pro and I hope there is always room for him as long as he wants to stick around. Glad to see there are still a few perceptive folks out there who can appreciate quality sports journalism, of which there is precious little these days.

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