Minnesota Vikings vs Chicago Bears Preview: What to Expect
The Vikings go into Chicago after fumbling away the game to the Lions. The Bears will be starting what they hope is a new era and franchise quarterback in Mitch Trubisky. Both teams will be looking to fill major holes left due to injuries.
For the first time since week 1, it appears Sam Bradford will be starting. Bradford, in his last outing against the Saints, was simply incredible. He completed 84.4% of his passes for 346 yards and 3 passing touchdowns. Bradford did this with a running game. This will be the key for Sam to have another big game.
Latavius Murray will be replacing Dalvin Cook. Murray is a no-nonsense see the hole hit the hole runner. He was especially effective for the Raiders a year ago. Murray will be facing a linebacker core that will be missing 3 of their four starting linebackers including Danny Trevathan (suspension) who leads the team in tackles and Willy Young who was lost for the season. Murray will make one cut and go. With the depletion at linebacker Murray could be up for a big game.
Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen had average games against the Lions. Thielen ended any chance of a Vikings comeback, fumbling on the last drive of the game. This combo has done some heavy lifting so far this season. Kyle Rudolph has been very quiet this year and former first-round pick Laquon Treadwell has been an utter disappointment. For the First time this year, Michael Floyd will be on the field. Floyd is a solid receiver that played opposite of Larry Fitzgerald. Floyd is a 40-60 catch a year type of guy and will take some of the burden away from Diggs and Thielen. Prince Amukamara and Kyle Fuller don’t exactly scare the quarterbacks in the NFL. They are serviceable but they don’t get many interceptions.
Jordan Howard killed the Vikings defense last year. Howard rushed for 140 and 2 touchdowns in the first meeting in 2016 and for an encore rushed for 112 and 2 touchdowns. Ameer Abdullah rushed for 94 yards last week against a much-improved run defense of the Vikings. Could that crack that was shown last week be enough to spring a leak in the defense? Howard is not as shifty as Abdullah but Rookie Tarik Cohen is. Cohen has shiftiness much like a Reggie Bush. This type of shiftiness has given Vikings problems in recent years. Howard could very well crack the 100-yard mark once again with Cohen doing damage in the passing and screen game.
Mitchell Trubisky will make his NFL debut as a starter. He played great during the preseason and had many wanting him to start in week one. Will Trubisky have debut jitters? Will he be as good as he was in the preseason? There have been 24 dropped passes by bears receivers, will his receivers learn to catch the ball? How much will more defensive scheming will Zimmer use to try to further confuse the young QB? This is a big spotlight for a young highly drafted rookie to make his debut. Trubisky will show sparks of why he was picked where he was and make a crucial mistake in the fourth proving as former Vikings Head Coach Denny Greene said: “The Bears are who we thought they were.”
Prediction: Vikings 24-17