Each week, BringMeTheNews will analyze the Vikings’ upcoming game from both sides, and give you “5 key reasons the Vikings will win.” This week the Vikings will try to win their third straight game and even their record at 5-5 in Chicago.
For 5 key reasons the Vikings should be worried, click here.
5. Ditka Says So
Legendary Bears head coach Mike Ditka didn't say the Vikings are going to beat the Bears, but he did question Chicago's pride.
"I don’t see a lot of leadership; I don’t see a lot of pride in what’s going on," Ditka said in an interview with the Chicago Sun Times. "I see a lot of guys going through the motions."
Ditka basically said an NFL defense has to have ZERO talent in order to get torched like the Bears did by the Packers on Sunday night – a 55-14 loss.
4. Nobody Likes Jay
Bears fans are burning Jay Cutler jerseys. But it's all good because Cutler is used to it.
Some fans even thought a fictional interview with Cutler by The Onion was real. In the fake interview, Cutler places blame on the punter for their 41-point loss to the Packers last week. Here's the fake story:
"CHICAGO—Following the team’s blowout 55-14 loss to the Green Bay Packers Sunday night, Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler told reporters Tuesday that he would be the first person to admit the team is in dire need of a new punter. “It’s certainly not an easy thing to say, but at the end of the day, someone has to step up and accept that mistakes were made by our punter, Pat O’Donnell,” said Cutler, who pointed to O’Donnell’s blocked punt in the third quarter as playing a major role in the team’s unraveling and conceded that blame for the team’s loss rested squarely on the rookie punter. “Going forward, there will have to be some serious adjustments made to our punt unit—when individual players aren’t doing their part out there, we’re going to fall short as a team. Pat didn’t play well, and he needs to accept responsibility for that.” Cutler went on to acknowledge that Bears long snapper Jeremy Cain will also need to step up his performance significantly before next week’s game against the Vikings if the team is to have any chance of turning its season around."
And then came the reaction from some fans.
3. Run Run Rudolph
It's basically winter. And when it's winter, Rudolph comes to play. That's exactly what could happen on Sunday if tight end Kyle Rudolph returns to the field for the first time since undergoing sports hernia surgery to repair a groin injury six weeks ago.
Rudolph was a full participant in practice on Thursday and Zimmer hinted that he thinks Rudolph will be ready.
2. Advantage Everson
During the offseason the Vikings let Jared Allen leave via free agency. After lassoing 85.5 sacks during his six seasons with the Vikings, Allen was headed for Chicago.
The decision has worked out for Minnesota. Griffen has developed into the player the Vikings hoped he would. He leads the team with a career-high nine sacks.
Allen, on the other hand, is enduring another difficult season. He is stuck on a Bears team that is 3-6 and was on the losing end of a six-touchdown performance from Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
To make matters worse, Allen hasn't gotten to the quarterback quite as often as he grew accustomed to in Minnesota; he has just 1.5 sacks on the season.
But never count Allen out in a big game when he is motivated to prove someone wrong. We discuss this more in the Top 5 Reasons the Vikings should be concerned about Chicago post.
1. Rookies really making a difference
Whether it has been Anthony Barr making big plays on the defensive side of the ball, Teddy Bridgewater rejuvenating the Vikings' passing attack, or Jerick McKinnon keeping their running game relevant without Adrian Peterson; Vikings rookies have played a big role in the team's rebound to 4-5.
NFL.com's Chris Wessling ranks the Vikings rookie class as the second best in the NFL.
"Teddy Bridgewater has already put together a pair of game-winning drives in five starts. Excelling in run support and pressuring quarterbacks, fellow first-round pick Anthony Barr has the look of a future Pro Bowler. A freak athlete, third-round running back Jerick McKinnon is averaging 5.0 yards per carry and is among the league leaders in yards after contact per attempt, according to Pro Football Focus. All three should become fixtures in the Vikings starting lineup."