Imagine if the Vikings had simply beaten the Bears at home

The silver lining? In a year where everything has changed, at least the Vikings haven't.
Publish date:
Mike Zimmer

Life for Vikings fans would be a lot more interesting entering the final week of the regular season had Minnesota simply taken care of the Chicago Bears two weeks ago at U.S. Bank Stadium. 

Instead, the Vikings let David Montgomery run wild and Chicago left Minneapolis with a 33-27 victory, which effectively put Minnesota's playoff hopes on ice while fueling Chicago's chances of being included in the 7-team NFC playoff field. 

Sure, Chicago is red-hot and has a chance to make the playoffs with a win or Arizona Cardinals loss in Week 17. But the Vikings could've been the team with a shot had they beaten the Bears, even if they still would've gotten smoked by Alvin Kamara and the Saints the following week. 

A win over Chicago coupled with a loss to the Saints would mean the Vikings would be 7-8 entering the final week. The Bears would also be 7-8, but the Vikings would own that tiebreaker. Arizona would be 8-7, setting the stage for an incredibly entertaining Week 17 in which the Vikings would have a chance to make the playoffs with two easy steps: 

  1. Beating the Lions at home
  2. Arizona losing at the Rams

Both are conceivable, if not likely. Alas, the Vikings are once again a middle-of-the-pack team that won't make the playoffs for the fourth time in seven seasons under head coach Mike Zimmer. That leaves fans with next to nothing to root for in the final game of the season, followed by three months of nothing, a draft pick in April that isn't in the top 10, followed by more months of nothing before the 2021 season begins next fall.

Of course, the failure against the Bears isn't the only mediocre effort to blame. Who could forget blowing a 24-12 lead at home against the Titans in Week 3? Or allowing the Seahawks to steal victory from the jaws of defeat in Week 5? Ah, the memories... 

And don't even get us started on the Vikings blowing two fourth-quarter leads in Week 11 to the Cowboys. 

The silver lining? In a year where everything has changed, at least the Vikings haven't. 

Next Up

Andrelton Simmons / Minnesota Twins

Twins sign Andrelton Simmons to one-year deal

The former Angels shortstop is a four-time Gold Glove winner.

covid, vaccine

Minnesotans eligible for COVID shots only need to pre-register once for vaccine lottery

This is good news for people worried that they'd need to sign up every week.

police lights

2 people charged in separate Minneapolis homicides that happened hours apart

A woman is accused of stabbing a man in the chest over $60, while a man is accused of accidentally shooting a victim on the man's birthday.

House for sale

Despite pandemic, Twin Cities housing market set records in 2020

Sales were up 7.7% in 2020 compared to the year before.

Target store inside

Target unveils 'limited-edition' home, lifestyle collection with Levi Strauss

The new collection will be available in some stores and everyone online Feb. 28.

Tim Walz

Walz's $52.4 billion budget increases school spending, raises taxes on wealthy

He says the budget will help level the playing field and ensure all Minnesotans have a fair shot at economic recovery,

Screen Shot 2021-01-26 at 12.55.00 PM

Pictures from Minnesota GOP's Deadwood retreat show no masks, no distancing

The pictures were shared in Chair Jennifer Carnahan's latest email newsletter.

Alexus Norberg

Search for girl, 14, missing from St. Cloud

The teen left her home without her parents' permission.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Tuesday, January 26

The health departments provided new data daily at 11 a.m.


What health officials know, don't know about Brazil P.1 variant

Minnesota health officials confirmed the first case of the P.1 variant in the U.S.

christopher and banks

Christopher & Banks closing stores for good, laying off 361 people at Plymouth facility

The layoffs began earlier this month and will continue through March.


Justin Jefferson

And just like that the Vikings have a spot in the playoff race

If the playoffs started today, the Vikings would face the Packers in the first round.

Brian O'Neill, Vikings-Saints

Here's how the Vikings can make the playoffs with 3 weeks to go

Let's hope it doesn't require a Christmas miracle against the Saints.

Danielle Hunter

How the Vikings can get the 2, 3 or 5 seed in the playoffs

If they Vikings win out, the worst they can get is the No. 5 seed.

Rams could jump Vikings this week, tiebreakers don't favor MN

The Rams own the key tiebreakers over the Vikings.

Kirk Cousins

Is it a 4-team race for the final NFC playoff spot?

The key for Minnesota likely requires winning on the road against two top NFC teams.

Linval Joseph

Ideal playoff opponent for Vikings if they get the No. 6 seed

Would your rather the Vikings face the 49ers, Packers, Seahawks or Saints?

Ifaedi Odenigbo

Coller: Vikings staring down chance to prove they belong

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Vikings column for BMTN, with more of his work found at Purple Insider.