Each week, BringMeTheNews will analyze the Vikings’ upcoming game from both sides, and give you “5 key reasons the Vikings should be worried.” This week the Vikings try to get back to .500 in a place where they haven't had much luck – "The Windy City."
For 5 key reasons the Vikings will win, click here.
5. Major 'trap game' potential
Sunday could very easily be a "trap game," for the Vikings.
They have won two straight and had a week off to recharge to get ready for Chicago. Things haven't been going better in Minnesota, since they won four straight games to make the playoffs during the 2012 season.
Chicago is on the the complete other end of the spectrum. The Bears have lost three straight and have given up more than 50 points in each of their last two games (51 to New England, 55 to Green Bay).
Things are never as good or as bad as they seem – especially in the NFL, and especially against a divisional opponent.
"We know they have been struggling the last couple of weeks, but they have great players on their team," said Patterson. "We know what those guys can do and we need to focus on them like they are the best defense in the NFL. They are in the NFL for a reason."
4. Bears loaded with weapons
At 3-6 the Chicago Bears are a tough team to figure out, but their struggles seem to be hiding one of the more talented teams in the NFC.
They signed quarterback Jay Cutler to a seven-year contract extension worth $126 million during the offseason, locking up what they believed was their franchise quarterback.
Matt Forte is one of the league's most well-rounded running backs. With Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffrey anchoring the wide receiver position along with a budding superstar at tight end in Martellus Bennett, the Bears certainly have the offensive firepower to compete for a championship.
Their achilles heel is a defense that is surrendering a league-worst 30.8 points per game.
Vikings Journal says the defensive struggles appear to be causing some frustration with players on the offensive side of the ball.
"Jay Cutler's statistics in 2014 share a little glimpse into the type of season that it has been for the Bears this year.If you were to chart Cutler's completion percentage, yards, TDs, and INTs on a graph, almost all of them would perfectly represent a negatively affected bell curve. It would seem as if there is a correlation that sees Cutler riding the emotions surrounding the team. When the expectations for the team are high, he performs well. When they are low, he drops off the planet, to the point where his most recent game against Green Bay saw him post a 59% completion percentage, 2 INTs and a 68.7 passer rating."
3. Jared Allen needs no motivation to face the Vikings
When Jared Allen left the Vikings in free agency, he was hoping that by signing with the Chicago Bears he would be joining a team as one of the final pieces on a Super Bowl contender.
What Allen found was a team very similar to the one he left behind in Minnesota.
The Bears are 3-6 and Allen has been held to 1.5 sacks through the first half of the season. But he has a history of showing up for big games and it doesn't sound like he lacks motivation to go against his former squad.
"I'm excited about it," Allen told the Pioneer Press this week. "It's always fun when you get to play against friends, so hopefully we pull out the victory and I got bragging rights for awhile."
Another reason for the Vikings to be concerned about Allen, is that his primary matchup will be against Matt Kalil, with whom he is very familiar, and whose struggles this season have been well documented.
2. Vikings forced to practice indoors
The forecast for Sunday in Chicago is calling for a 30-percent chance of snow and a high temperature of 35 degrees. A lot has changed since the Vikings were last on the field nearly two weeks ago – namely the temperature.
Unfortunately the weather in Minnesota this week has kept them from getting outside to prepare for the cold weather on Sunday.
The outdoor reps could be key for rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, who doesn't have a lot of experience in cold weather games. Bridgewater only played in three games when the mercury dropped below 40 degrees in his college career at Louisville. The Miami, Florida, native said he's confident he can handle the cold.
1. 'Windy City' struggles
The Vikings have had their struggles recently in Chicago. October 14, 2007 was the last time the Vikings beat Chicago on their home field. Here are a few things to think about:
- Adrian Peterson was a rookie
- Tavaris Jackson was the Vikings starting quarterback
- Only Peterson, Chad Greenway, Brian Robison and Cullen Loeffler remain on the roster then
In the last 10 years, Minnesota has won just twice on the road against the Bears, the only other victory was in 2004.