Minnesota Vikings vs Chicago Bears: Predictions and Odds (NFL Week 4)
My prediction is take the under, final score Bears 24, Vikings 13.
Current Odds Listed for Week 4: Vikings vs Bears
How to Watch: Vikings vs Bears
What: Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears
When: Sunday, September 29 at 4:25 p.m. ET
Where: Soldier Field in Chicago Illinois
How (TV): CBS
Latest point spread: Vikings +2, Bears -2
The historic NFL rivalry between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears makes this matchup on Sunday interesting, and these two 2-1 teams will battle it out to see which franchise will ease one game closer to the NFC North leading Green Bay Packers.
Both teams have defenses that are living up to their hype, but neither team’s offense has exactly taken off just yet, though in Week 3 the Bears finally did score a passing touchdown (3 of them, actually) and the Vikings did finally put up over 30 points on the board.
These two teams seem ready to score big against the other’s shutdown D, so let’s take a quick look at how each is set up for Week 4.
The 2-1-0 Minnesota Vikings
Vikings’ quarterback Kirk Cousins has yet to be the man in Minnesota, right now ranked 28th among active quarterbacks, a notch lower than deposed New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning, which says a lot (the big difference being that the Vikings don’t have a Daniel Jones to move forward with).
The bright spot on the Vikings underperforming offense is their over-performing running back, Dalvin Cook, who leads the league in rushing (57 carries for 375 yards) and has the second most touchdowns (4) among his peers.
Last week the Vikings won easily at home against the Oakland Raiders, 34-10, but they tend to struggle on the road and Soldier Field is no picnic to play in, so Cousins will need to step up his game and let the balls fly quickly before the big, bad Bears’ pass rush (led by hungry linebacker Khalil Mack) eats him alive.
For more on the Vikings, check out this article: Minnesota Vikings Biggest Offseason Moves
The 2-1-0 Chicago Bears
After spending two entire games without a passing touchdown, Chicago Bears third-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky finally broke out of the slump and tossed for three scores in Week 3, much to the relief of anyone who follows the Bears.
Chicago’s defense is no longer coordinated by guru Vic Fangio (he’s headcoaching in Denver these days), but it looks like his replacement Chuck Pagano has done what it takes to ensure his squad continues its on field dominance.
Dual threat running back Tarik Cohen (averaging 2.0 yards per carry) needs to get more productive on Sunday (and kill the livestreaming that just got him in hot water), then it could be a lot of fun to watch Trubisky finally on a roll backed by a Bears shutdown defense playing at home.
For more on the Chicago Bears, check out this article: Chicago Bears Biggest Offseason Moves
What’s at Stake
These two teams have met 116 total times (including 1 postseason game), with Chicago winning 54 of those games and Minnesota winning 60 times.
The Vikings have won in three of the last five meetings with the Bears, although they have lost the last two, both last season, the latest one being the final game of the 2018 season when Chicago won 24-10.
If the Vikings win this matchup, they’ll move to 3-1-0 and keep apace for the NFC North’s current leaders, the Green Bay Packers, who were an undefeated 3-0 going into Week 4.
But if the Bears come out on top, then they’ll move to 3-1-1 and after a slow start to the season, will have righted their ship and remain atop the competitive NFC North.
Questions to Answer
Who’s favored to win this Week 4 Vikings-Bears matchup?
Which team has a better offense? Defense? Special teams?
Which team’s quarterback is more likely to lead his team to victory?
We’re going to briefly compare the Vikings and the Bears next and attempt to answer those questions and more.
Offensive Stats Comparison
Minnesota Vikings Overall Offense
- Ranked 20th overall in 2018
- Ranked 15th overall in 2019
Passing attack: The Minnesota Vikings’ passing offense is currently ranked 31st in the league after throwing for an average of 164.7 yards per game in 2019.
Kirk Cousins is the 28th ranked active quarterback right now, having completed 37-of-63 passes for 502 yards and 3 touchdowns with 2 interceptions.
Minnesota’s best receiver is currently Adam Thielen, who has caught 11 balls for 173 yards and 2 touchdowns, ranked 50th among his receiving peers.
Rushing attack: The Vikings have the league’s 2nd best rushing attack, averaging 193.7 yards on the ground per game.
Minnesota’s (and the NFL’s) leading rusher is currently Dalvin Cook, who has 57 carries for 375 yards and 4 touchdowns after three games, averaging 6.6 yards per carry.
The Vikings are the NFL’s 7th highest scorers, with 78 total points, averaging 26 per game.
Minnesota Offensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for Week 4: guard Josh Kline (concussion),
Injury notes: tight end David Morgan (knee) is listed as PUP-R, and wide receivers Chad Beebe (ankle) and Josh Doctson (leg) have both been placed on injured reserve.
Chicago Bears Overall Offense
- Ranked 21st overall in 2018
- Ranked 29th overall in 2019
Passing attack: The Chicago Bears have the 29th best passing attack (meaning, the 4th worst) after averaging 178.7 yards per game through the air.
Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is the 25th most productive quarterback this season, completing 67-of-103 passes for 579 yards and 3 touchdowns with 2 interceptions.
The Bears best receiver after three weeks is Allen Robinson, who has caught 17 passes for 203 yards but no touchdowns, while Taylor Gabriel has 9 catches for 110 yards and 3 touchdowns, T-4th most in the league.
Rushing attack: The Bears have the 21st best rushing attack in the league, averaging 96.3 yards per game on the ground.
Running back David Montgomery leads the Bears in rushing with 37 carries for 147 yards and 1 touchdown, averaging 4.0 yards per carry.
The Bears offense has scored 50 total points, 21st most in the league.
Chicago Offensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for Week 4: wide receivers Taylor Gabriel (concussion) and Cordarrelle Patterson (triceps), kicker Eddie Pinerio (knee)
Injury notes: tackle T.J. Clemmings (quadriceps) has been placed on injured reserve.
Trubisky has finally caught fire for the Bears while Cook has been incredible for the Vikings, but since this game is in Chicago and the Bears don’t have to play against their own defense, they will have the slight advantage on Sunday.
Defensive Stats Comparison
Minnesota Vikings Overall Defense
- Ranked 4th overall in 2018
- Ranked 12th overall in 2019
Pass coverage: The Vikings are ranked 11th in pass coverage after allowing opponents to throw for 225.7 yards per game.
Minnesota has 3 total interceptions on the year and 10 sacks after three games.
Run coverage: The Vikings are 13th best against the run, their opponents rushing for an average of 101.7 yards per game.
Minnesota’s defense has allowed opponents to score just 47 total points, the 5th fewest in the NFL.
Vikings Defensive Players to Watch
Middle linebacker Eric Kendricks leads the Vikings in tackles with 21, tied for 35th most in the league right now.
Watch for Danielle Hunter to get after Trubisky, the defensive end already with 3.0 sacks and 15 tackles in three games.
Definitely notice defensive back Anthony Harris in the Vikings’ secondary, who has 2 interceptions (tied for 2nd most in the NFL right now), 4 passes defended, 14 tackles and a recovered fumble.
Vikings Defensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for Week 4: cornerback Mackensie Alexander (elbow) and linebacker Anthony Barr (groin).
Injury notes: defensive end Tashawn Bower (Achilles) is listed as NFI, cornerback Holton Hill (suspension) is listed as OUT, and safety Isaiah Wharton (undisclosed) has been placed on injured reserve.
Chicago Bears Overall Defense
- Ranked 3rd overall in 2018
- Ranked 8th overall in 2019
Pass coverage: The Bears are 14th against the pass, allowing opponents to throw for 245.0 yards per game this season.
Chicago has 4 interceptions this season and has sacked opposing quarterbacks 11 times.
Run coverage: Chicago is ranked 5th against the run, their opponents gaining an average of 68.7 yards per game on the ground.
The Bears’ defense has allowed opponents to score just 39 total points, the 3rd fewest in the NFL.
Bears Defensive Players to Watch
Keep your eyes out for inside linebacker Danny Trevathan, he is tied for 16th most tackles so far this season with 25 of them, plus he has a sack and a forced fumble.
Pay attention to where outside linebacker Khalil Mack is on the field (talking to you, Kirk Cousins), the highly skilled brute has 3.0 sacks already plus 10 tackles and 3 forced fumbles.
The Bears secondary is not fun to throw against because of these two players – strong safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix, who has 2 interceptions (one of those for a touchdown), 4 passes defended and 17 tackles, and cornerback Kyle Fuller, who also has 2 interceptions with 6 passes defended and 19 tackles.
Bears Defensive Injuries
Listed as questionable for Week 4: defensive end Akiem Hicks (knee), safety Eddie Jackson (shoulder), defensive end Bilal Nichols (hand), defensive end Ray Robertson-Harris (lower body)
Injury notes: safety Joshua Simmons (undisclosed) has been placed on injured reserve.
These are both solid defenses, but the Chicago Bears have the advantage numerically and because they are at home, where it tends to get a bit loud.
Special Teams Stats Comparison
Minnesota’s veteran punter, Britton Colquitt, is in his tenth NFL season, first with the Vikings, and this season he has punted 13 times for a net average of 43.1 yards per punt, which was the 13th best in the league.
Chicago’s punter, Pat O’Donnell, has been with the Bears since the 2014 season, and this year he has punted 16 times for a net average of 43.6 yards per punt, 12th best in the NFL.
Minnesota’s placekicker, Dan Bailey, is in his ninth NFL season, second with the Vikings.
Bailey has made 3-of-4 field goals this season, his longest a 50 yarder, and so far, he has missed one extra point attempt (9/10).
Chicago’s placekicker, Eddie Pineiro, was acquired by the Bears during the offseason through a trade with the Oakland Raiders.
This season, Pineiro, has made 5-of-6 field goals, his longest a 53 yarder, and so far, he has missed no extra point attempts (5/5).
Minnesota’s punt returner, running back Ameer Abdullah, is replacing the injured returner Chad Beebe, the wide receiver who has been placed on injured reserve due to an ankle injury.
In his four NFL seasons, Abdullah has returned 60 kickoffs for 1,646 yards, averaging 27.4 yards per return.
Chicago’s punt returner, running back Tarik Cohen, is ranked 18th in the league in return average.
Cohen has returned 6 punts for 46 yards, averaging 7.7 yards per return, his longest for 14 yards.
Special Teams Advantage
The Bears’ placekicker, Eddie Pineiro, is still dealing with a hurt knee and is questionable for Week 4, so the Vikings have the advantage on special teams.
Final Game Analysis
Why Will the Vikings Win this Game?
The Minnesota Vikings will win this game if they can find their passing attack.
If Cousins and Thielen can get going, they can balance that with their Cook-infused running game along with that power defense they have been showing up with and they will be tough to beat anywhere, even in Chicago.
Head coach Mike Zimmer may be approaching the proverbial hot seat so a Vikings win against their division rivals would go a long way, so expect his Minnesota team to figure out a way to keep Trubisky from going mobile and to snuff Chicago’s already struggling run game.
Why Will the Bears Win this Game?
If the Chicago Bears can get ahead early in this one, their defense can shut the Vikings down (not easy with Cook running the ball, granted) and they will fight to a win.
And keep in mind, the Vikings’ only loss this season was an away game and they were under .500 on the road last season, so they struggle when they’re not at home and it will be no walk in the park at the notoriously loud Soldier Field.
The Bears are firing on all cylinders now and will begin their slow NFC North chase of the Green Bay Packers by dispensing of these offensively confused Vikings in Week 4.
This Game Goes to the
Chicago Bears by eleven, because they are notoriously happy at home (7-1 last season) and the Vikings can’t seem to throw the football these days.
John Breech of CBS Sports takes the under and predicts the score as Vikings 20, Bears 16.
My prediction is take the under, final score Bears 24, Vikings 13.