Week 8 NFL Game Preview: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears

Week 8 NFL Game Preview: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
CHICAGO, IL - NOVEMBER 1: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears looks to pass during a game against the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on November 1, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The Vikings defeated the Bears 23-20. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

The Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings will meet for the 110th time on Monday night. The Vikings lead the series 56-51-2 and have won three straight games against the Bears.

The Vikings have won five of the last seven meetings. However, Minnesota has only two victories at Soldier Field in 15 games dating back to 2001.

No Teddy Bridgewater, Adrian Peterson, Jerrick McKinnon or Sharrif Floyd for Minnesota and likely no Eddie Royal and Kyle Long for the Bears who have beaten up this season.

At 5-1, the Vikings are alone in first place of the NFC North while the Bears are falling fast at 1-6. These are two teams headed in different directions. After last December’s 38-17 beat down in Minnesota, both of the two previous meetings were decided by a combined seven points.

Here’s what both teams will have on their minds heading into this Week 8 game. Keep in mind, a combined 18 players are listed on the injury report including 10 from the Bears.

Game preview with ColdOmaha.com’s Arif Hasan. Make sure to follow him on Twitter @ArifHasanNFL

1. After last week’s tough battle/first loss to Philly, what needs to change for Sam Bradford and the offense?

AH: Nothing is significantly wrong with Bradford, the biggest issues were playcalling and the play of the offensive line. Bradford does need to get rid of the ball faster, but the called play needs shorter routes to allow that.

2. Why has the Vikings defense been so successful and how can it continue?

AH: The Vikings defense is versatile, with smart athletes at every level of the defense and a phenomenal coordinator. It is complex and needs to keep implementing new concepts in coverage in order to stay fresh, but it has answers for every offensive design.

3. What is the perception of Jay Cutler in Minnesota because in Chicago he is quickly falling out of favor?

AH: Not good. People in Minnesota think he’s largely surly and not a good teammate in addition to his problems on the field. I don’t care as much about that, but his gunslinging is too inaccurate to work anymore.

4. How will Minnesota cover Alshon Jeffery in the secondary?

AH: Xavier Rhodes will shadow him. He’s the perfect corner for Alshon and it should be a great matchup.

5. The Vikings run offense is an interesting situation with AP out and McKinnon banged up, can Matt Asiata carry the load again?

AH: He’ll have to. I don’t think he’ll get big yards, but he’s at least consistent. The running game should be significantly less explosive, though.

6. What do you expect to see at Soldier Field on Halloween night?

AH: Big scares and the threat of the reaper bearing down on Cutler.

7. Final score prediction

AH: Vikings 21, Bears 6

***

Final Score Prediction

Vikings 23, Bears 17

The Bears will be able to be more successful on offense with Jay Cutler back, but the offensive line issues are glaring and Minnesota’s defense is simply too good to be beaten in primetime.

Season prediction record: 3-4

Injury Report

Vikings– OUT: DT Sharrif Floyd (knee), G Zac Kerin (hand), RB Jerrick McKinnon (ankle), S Andrew Sendejo (ankle)

QUESTIONABLE: WR Cordarrelle Patterson (concussion), TE MyCole Pruitt (hand), CB Marcus Sherels (wrist), WR Jarius Wright (ankle)

Bears – OUT: CB Deiondre’ Hall (ankle)

DOUBTFUL: DT Eddie Goldman (high left ankle sprain), RG Kyle Long (tricep), WR Eddie Royal (toe)

QUESTIONABLE: CB Bryce Callahan (hamstring), RB Jeremy Langford (ankle), LB Pernell McPhee (knee), WR Cameron Meredith (shoulder), CB Tracy Porter (knee), LG Josh Sitton (ankle)

Qwikcast.com Weather Report

Mostly cloudy. Lows in the upper 50’s. South winds 10 to 20 MPH.

A look ahead

The Bears have a Week 9 bye.

Read up on the five Bears players you should keep watch in Monday night’s clash with Minnesota, here.

Thoughts on the Vikings-Bears matchup? Make sure to weigh in on the comment section below.

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