Predictions for the Vikings Week 4 matchup against the Bears

Can the Vikings get a rare win at Soldier Field?
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Danielle Hunter

In their toughest battle yet and a share of first place of the NFC North on the line, the Vikings head to Solider Field to face the Bears.

Since 2008, the Vikings have just two wins in Chicago and both have come under Mike Zimmer's (wins in 2015 and 2017) regime, but historically the stadium has been a house of horrors for Minnesota.

Here are three things to watch for, including staff predictions in the Vikings-Bears game.

1. Which QB screws up less?

It's no secret that both Chicago's and Minnesota's recipe for success is defense, as it's what will carry both teams if they have playoff aspirations.

The Bears have third-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, who's a mobile quarterback but has significant deficiencies throwing the football down the field.

Kirk Cousins on the other hand isn't very mobile, and has the ability to stretch field vertically. However, he's prone to make foolish decisions when problems arise in the pocket or when he's in the national spotlight.

With both defenses being so sound, the winner on Sunday will likely be determined by which quarterback turns the ball over the least. Last year, Trubisky gave every chance for the Vikings to win but Cousins and the Minnesota offense couldn't handle the pressure applied by Chicago's defense. 

We'll see if Cousins can redeem himself with a stellar performance.

2. Can the passing game open up?

Speaking of Cousins, the run-first offense has meant Minnesota's passing attack has been pretty much non-existent through three weeks.

On one side, if ain't broke, don't fix it, but with so many talented playmakers like Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, Kyle Rudolph and even rookie tight end Irv Smith Jr., this could be an opportunity to get them more involved. 

Even though Chicago has one of the most fearsome defenses in the league, it would be a huge statement if the coaching staff can draw up a game plan that puts Cousins and his playmakers into a successful position. 

The Bears are second in scoring defense (13 PPG), top five in rushing defense (68.7 YPG) but are middle of the pack in passing defense, where they're allowing 245 yards per game. 

3. Defensive line is going to eat

With Everson Griffen looking like he's back to his Pro Bowl form, once again the Vikings have one of the most dominating defensive lines in the league.

With Griffen, Danielle Hunter and Linval Joseph leading the charge, all three should be able to get after Trubisky.

Trubisky has already been sacked eight times this season and Zimmer is probably licking his chops at ways he can confuse and get after the shaky quarterback. 

Staff predictions

BMTN sports writer, Declan Goff

As much as it makes sense for this to be a smash you in the mouth, black and blue division game with minimal scoring, I'm calling for the Vikings expose the Bears as frauds. Cousins finally gets the aerial attack working, Dalvin Cook still runs up and down the field and the defense smothers Trubisky into the turf at Soldier Field. 

Final score: 34-7, Vikings

BMTN Sports Director, Joe Nelson

I don't know what Goff is on, but if that opinion rings true then I'll never second guess anything he says again. The score is more likely to be 3-2 than it is 34-7. What's more likely to happen is that Minnesota pummeled the first 15 minutes of the game only to rally from 14-0 to come within a field goal late, only to have Cousins throw a bad interception or for Dan Bailey to badly miss a game-tying field goal. It's wise to start mentally preparing yourself to be frustrated. 

Final score: 17-14, Bears

BMTN Editor, Adam Uren

Rather than fielding an offensive line in the face of the Chicago defense at Soldier Field, Kirk Cousins is instead being protected by actual soldiers. Scared of being anti-American, the Chicago D-line holds back. Unfortunately, Kirk Cousins fails to throw a complete pass the entire game, while Dalvin Cook rushes for 100 yards but keeps getting stopped at the goal line. Mitch Trubisky however is worse, stopping mid game to lie on the ground in the fetal position rather than face Danielle Hunter. The game ends 3-0 courtesy of a Dan Bailey FG that hits the left upright and bounces agonizingly over the crossbar.

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