Bears vs. Vikings, 01/01/17 – Prediction & Preview
Written by: Jeffrey Stevens
Chicago Bears (3-12 SU, 7-8 ATS) vs. Minnesota Vikings (7-8 SU, 8-7 ATS)
NFL: Sunday, January 1st, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. ET
Line: Minnesota -6.5
The Chicago Bears will hit the road to take on their NFC North division rival Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis this Sunday. Chicago will spend their last game of the season looking to snap a three game losing streak after getting beat up 41-21 against the Redskins in Washington last Saturday. The Viking have now lost two in a row after falling 38-25 in Green Bay in week 16
How Much Change Will Take Place In Chicago?
After this weekend the season will finally be over and the Bears front office can cut the crap and start making plans for next season. I can say that after being a life-long Bears fan. This season was all too familiar with my childhood growing up in northern Indiana. Injured quarterback, receivers hurt, different pieces to a banged up offensive line. This season our defense was even plagued with injuries and often looked they had no idea of what to expect next. Chicago will have a great pick in the 2017 draft, the only thing is with so many needs on the team, just where do you spend it? Does Matt Barkley deserve a chance to win the starting job for good? Who in the draft could make a significant difference on defense in week one next season? These are all questions that the Bears can finally start addressing. After the Viking game.
Offense has been a struggle for Chicago and it’s pretty self-evident with the mere 17.9 points they average per game. They have been able to throw the ball for an average of 255.6 yards per week this season to go along with 103.1 rushing yards. The defense has looked solid when you consider all they have gone through in 2016. They gave up an average of 24.1 points per contest to go along with 223.2 yards through the air and 121.9 on the ground. They will need to step things up in the secondary this week if they want to finish the year with a win.
No Playoffs For Vikings
Any chance of making it to the postseason again this year vanished for the Viking last week after dropping their second game in a row, this one 38-25 against the Green Bay Packers. The Vikings were forced to play from behind almost from the rip and went into the locker room at halftime down 28-13. Minnesota out scored Green Bay in the second half, but it wasn’t close to being enough to come from behind. The Vikings out gained the Pack 446 total yards to 348 and moved the chains more often with 22 first downs compared to only 19 from the Packers, but they also turned the ball over twice in the game and were called for eight penalties that set them back 70 yards. Quarterback Sam Bradford had a solid performance in a losing effort, tossing the ball for 382 yards and three scores in the game.
Minnesota has been able to find the endzone for an average of 19.3 points per game this season. They have been able to move the ball for an average of 239.1 yards per week through the air, but have struggled in the running department with just 72.1 rushing yards. They have been one of the best defenses in the NFL this season, giving up just 19.8 points to their opponents. They have been monsters when it comes to stopping the run, allowing just 101.9 rushing yards per game. Their secondary was picked apart in Green Bay, but is still giving up just 212.5 yards
- 5-1 ATS in their previous 6 games.
- 2-5 ATS in their previous 7 games on the road.
- 3-7 ATS in their previous 10 games.
- 8-2 ATS in their previous 10 games at home.
Neither of these teams will be playing in the playoffs, so this one will all come down to pride. It will be Barkley’s last opportunity to show Coach Fox what he can before the Bears make a decision on whether or not they use their high pick on a quarterback that could be around for awhile. Minnesota has been stingy on defense all season long, especially when playing at home. The Vikings are going to end the year with a win, but I think the Bears will do enough on defense to give Barkley a chance to cover the spread.
Pick: Chicago +6.5
The final week of the regular season is here and the Chicago Bears will head to Minnesota to wrap up the campaign against the Vikings. Minnesota will look to give the fans a reason to cheer with a win after being beat around last week in Green Bay. Chicago is making plans for the draft.
Pick: Under 40
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