Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears: Preview and Prediction

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Nov 1, 2015; Chicago, IL, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) carries the ball against the Chicago Bears during the first half at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings (8-5) host the Chicago Bears (5-8) this Sunday with playoff hopes on the line. What do the Vikings need to do to win?

For the first time since 2012, the Minnesota Vikings head into a game with a legitimate chance to clinch a playoff berth. Whether you thought this would happen before the season or not, it’s pretty cool, right?

According to the official Vikings website, here are the scenarios that would have to happen this weekend for the Vikings to clinch a playoff spot.

(WAS – Washington Redskins, ATL – Atlanta Falcons, SEA – Seattle Seahawks, NYG – New York Giants, PHI – Philadelphia Eagles)

  • 1. MIN win WAS loss or tie ATL loss or tie OR
    2. MIN win WAS loss or tie SEA loss or tie OR
    3. MIN win NYG loss or tie ATL loss or tie OR
    4. MIN win NYG loss or tie SEA loss or tie OR
    5. MIN tie ATL loss or tie PHI loss or tie WAS loss OR
    6. MIN tie ATL loss or tie PHI loss or tie NYG loss OR
    7. MIN tie ATL loss or tie WAS loss or tie NYG loss or tie (as long as WAS and NYG both don’t tie)

Of course, the number one obstacle for any of these scenarios is beating the Bears on Sunday (I’m ignoring the scenarios in which a tie gets them in the playoffs). In the previous meeting between these two teams at Soldier Field, the Vikings formed a late comeback by scoring ten points in the final five minutes to top Chicago, 23-20.

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Both Minnesota and Chicago come into this game on two-game losing streaks, although each skid is a completely different story. The Vikings were throttled at home 35-7 against Seattle, which initially made me lose all confidence in this team. However, they followed up that performance with an impressive display against one of the NFL’s best teams in the Arizona Cardinals just a few days later on Thursday Night Football, falling 23-20 after a late fumble in Arizona territory prevented a game-tying field goal attempt.

For the Bears, it’s a more dramatic and upsetting story, at least for the fans. In both losses to San Francisco and Washington, kicker Robbie Gould (Chicago’s all-time leading field goal percentage leader at 85.1 percent) missed key field goals late in the game that would have either won the game or tied the game. Against San Francisco, Gould missed a 36-yard attempt as time expired that would have won it. The following week, Gould missed a 50-yarder that would’ve tied the game at the end of regulation.

Here’s a look at this weekend’s matchup.

Next: Vikings vs. Bears - Game Info