Minnesota Vikings vs. Bears: Madden Prediction

James Lang-USA TODAY Sports
James Lang-USA TODAY Sports /

The Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears are facing off at Soldier Field in this week eight rivalry match up.

Monday Night Football will again feature the Minnesota Vikings in prime time. Although the Minnesota Vikings seem to clearly outmatch the Bears in this contest, rivalry games of this sort can be hard to predict. Luckily, Madden 17 provides fans with a simulation ahead of time.

The Minnesota Vikings have a much higher rating on Madden than the Chicago Bears, but the Bears still managed to keep this one close. The final result was 24-17 in a bounce-back win for the Minnesota Vikings.

Game recap

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Vikings offensive coordinator Norv Turner went back to what has been working for Minnesota. Sam Bradford only threw the ball 27 times with seven yards per attempt–they went back to the quick passing game. Bradford finished the game mistake-free with 188 yards and a touchdown.

Attacking the Bears’ poor front seven, the Vikings running game continued its stride from Philadelphia as Jerick McKinnon ran for 106 yards. McKinnon also managed to catch two passes for 18 yards and a touchdown. Matt Asiata matched his criticism by rushing for only one yard and one touchdown.

The Vikings’ O line wasn’t improved by a trade; it was improved by virtual coaching. They still allowed four sacks, but they kept Bradford clean in the pocket on important downs. T.J. Clemmings was bullied once again by allowing two sacks while Jeremiah Sirles let one slip by. Akiem Hicks, Pernell McPhee, Mitch Unrein and Eddie Goldman all had their way with the line, but only on the outside. The interior line remained strong, especially for the run.

Jay Cutler came back, and was punished just the way Vikings fans were hoping. He did manage to throw for 209 yards and a red zone touchdown strike to Zach Miller, but he didn’t survive the Vikings’ barrage throughout the game. Brian Robison came up big with 2.5 sacks including a hit that knocked Cutler out of the game. Matt Barkley came in, threw one pass and it was intercepted by Eric Kendricks.

Andrew Sendejo continued his streak of turnovers with a forced fumble as a part of the Vikings’ response to their last performance against the run. Made dormant by the Vikings’ front seven, Jordan Howard hit the bench for Jeremy Langford who managed to rack up 76 rush yards and touchdown in garbage time.

While Stefon Diggs and Alshon Jeffery were shut down, Eddie Royal, Kyle Rudolph and Cordarrelle Patterson all had nice games. Bradford primarily picked on the middle of the field as the Bears often failed to keep up with their linebackers and safeties.

Blair Walsh scored nine on three field goals without a miss. Jeff Locke and Patt O’Donnell punted seven times each and only Locke managed to pin the opposition back inside the 20.

The Minnesota Vikings managed to grind this game out by running the ball effectively and keeping the ball in front of them on defense. Bradford moving back to mistake-free football is a promising sign while a useful rushing attack from McKinnon proved helpful.

Does this mean anything?

Of course it does…sort of. It could mean the Vikings will suffer their second loss of the season due to the Madden curse. More likely would be the scenario in which the Vikings are simply a better team than the Bears front to back. These rivalry games are almost never easy, but the Vikings ought to win purely based on their advantage at practically every position.

Next: Minnesota Timberwolves: First Impressions for the Big 3

24-17 may not sound like the beat down Vikings fans were hoping for, but it is a valuable win that keeps the Vikings on track.