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In this modern world, it’s hard to get people to universally agree on anything but if there’s anything I’ve noticed from living in Minnesota since 2016, it’s that Vikings fans believe their team is cursed.

Coincidentally, I got my first taste of it on the first day as a Minnesotan. As I was dragging boxes out of a moving truck that had traveled halfway across the country, news broke of Teddy Bridgewater’s career-altering injury.

That event alone is so inexplicable and improbable, it would be enough for any fan base to think that somebody upstairs had it out for them. How many quarterbacks under the age of 25 suffer injuries so severe that they aren’t cleared to return to the field for another year-and-a-half? Or are so brutal that their team moves on from them despite that QB showing signs of being a franchise player? Joe Burrow got hurt badly toward the end of his rookie year. By Week 1 of Year 2, he was out there beating the Vikings.

You know all of the other ones. Gary. Blair. Nate Poole.

But those types of things happen to lots of franchises. I came from Buffalo. They call it “wide right” there. How about the Chargers? The Chicago Curse is the best argument Vikings fans have for some type of cosmic power pulling the puppet strings.

When you add up the performances that the Vikings have put together over a huge sample in Chicago, it makes absolutely no sense. You aren’t just remembering the strange upsets. This thing is real.

Since 2000, the Vikings have five wins in 20 trips to Soldier Field. Even crazier, they have only covered the spread five times. Five of eight times that they were favored by at least 3.5 points, the Vikings lost outright.

Guess what? When the Vikings head to Soldier Field on Monday night, they’re favored by 3.5 points. Oh, and their playoff hopes are on the line.

A perfect curse storm, if I ever saw one.

You might say that the Bears are too darn putrid to hex the Vikings. Well, that may be true. They rank in the bottom 10 in points scored and points allowed. But the 2004 Bears that beat Daunte Culpepper and Randy Moss with Chad Hutchinson and someone named Desmond Clark as their leading receiver that day might contest that point.

There’s no real explanation for the Bears’ dominance over the Vikings at Soldier Field. Maybe they are more used to playing in Mud Bowl turf conditions than the indoor Vikings? Who knows. The 2016 Vikings, who lost to a Bears team that finished 3-13, would sure love to know.

OK, despite all of the unexplainable evidence otherwise, we have to keep the door open to the possibility that this could also be one of those oddities that is pure randomness. If you flip a coin 100 times, it doesn’t come out exactly 50 heads and 50 tails, right? You’ll have runs of 10 heads or tails in a row and over 10,000 flips, it’ll be even. Small samples produce goofy results sometimes.

Last year the Football Gods had every chance to poke the Vikings’ voodoo doll but instead a deep pass from Nick Foles to Anthony Miller fell incomplete and the Vikings came away with a win in Chicago.

Here’s a way to think of curses in sports: Yes, there are things that defy explanation but those things aren’t predictive. Losing in Chicago over the past 20 years doesn’t mean the Vikings lose in Chicago this time.

Justin Fields’ offense might actually be worse than Chad Hutchinson’s was in 2004. Chicago is the sixth worst team in yards per play and dead last in passing yards per game. Yes, they are even worse than Houston. They have the third most interceptions thrown and second most sacks allowed.

Oh, and their defense is super bad too. The Monsters of the Midway have allowed the second highest QB rating to opposing quarterbacks in the NFL.

This team is bad, folks. This isn’t a mediocre Matt Nagy club that remains in the hunt. This is a team that set out to compete and has landed in the realm of the Texans and Jaguars.

The Vikings are the seventh best passing yardage team and they rarely take sacks these days (second lowest sack rate). No matter a COVID outbreak in the receiver room or Adam Thielen’s wounded limb, there’s nobody on Chicago with a prayer against Justin Jefferson. If you need proof, see Adams, Davante.

The Vikings need at least two wins to have any chance at the postseason and three to have a decent chance. They need two wins against Chicago, starting with Monday night. If they are overcome by the curse against an abomination of a football team in Chicago, it will solidify them as a team that had no business in the playoffs in the first place.

Heck a loss might work as a reverse curse and set the franchise on a new path. There’s a way to look at it.

Anyway, the Vikings shouldn’t lose. They should buck the trend and then we can move on from talking about the Chicago curse every year. And then talk about some other curses because, whew, there are a lot of them. Keep your head on a swivel, Greg Joseph. 

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