I am confident in a Bears win over the Vikings on Sunday. A Viking victory would portend some bad things for the Bears. For Minnesota to win, as I see it one of two things would have to happen for the Vikings, and one for the Bears. The Bears would either have to be completely unable to stop Adrian Peterson, or the Vikings and Christian Ponder would find a way to get their passing attack in gear against the Chicago front. As the Bears were able to hold Peterson in check in 2012, and Minnesota’s passing game seems to be a shambles, I don’t know how likely this is. Also, the Bears would have to be completely stifled offensively. And I have confidence in Marc Trestman, who after one game has proven himself a competent NFL head coach.
Speaking of Minnesota’s passing game, why does it seem to be so bad? The Vikings have capable receivers in Greg Jennings, Jerome Simpson and rookie Cordarrelle Patterson. Not to mention the threat of Peterson coming out of the backfield. And Ponder wasn’t a first-round draft pick for nothing. One feeling of caution I have against the Bears optimism is thinking back on the 2007 Bears-Vikings game at Soldier Field. I was feeling supremely confident. Then I watched quarterback Tavaris Jackson hook up with receiver Troy Williamson, a guy that did nothing in the NFL, for a 60-yard TD. As well as Peterson run wild in a surprise Viking win. I don’t think this will be easy by any stretch.
Speaking of which I was just listening to Mully and Hanley talk to Bears radio analyst Jeff Joniak on the score. I found a couple things funny. First, Hanley says “every Bears fan in the world thinks this is going to be an easy win.” Way to extrapolate to everyone, Brian. Then Joniak says “in the media room I know of several writers who already have the Bears starting 5-0 and undefeated into their bye week.” Huh? Who are these writers, Jeff? Didn’t most of the writers last week have the Bears losing and finishing no better than 8-8 in 2013? A fickle bunch they are.
A little recent history on the Bears-Vikings series. I recall tailgating prior to the 2000 Sunday Night Football game at old Soldier Field, hoping the Bears would finally turn the tide against their rivals. In 2000, the Bears had lost four straight and seven of eight to Minnesota at home. They didn’t do it that night, making the Bears losers in eight of nine meetings at Soldier Field from 1992-2000. But since 2001, the Bears have rolled against the Vikings at Soldier Field/Champaign, losing only in 2007. This gives Chicago an 11-1 record at home against the Vikings since ’01. Wow.
Did I mention that I do NOT think this will be an “easy win?” But I do expect a win. A loss means the Bears may very well finish closer to 8-8 than 12-4.