Staff Picks – Vikings @ Bears – Week 15

Mike Page 4-11

Image by Zachary Rosenbaum – https://www.instagram.com/zacharyrosenbaumdesign/

Here is a quick glance of the Bears roster for tonight’s game…

First, if you get this movie reference, than I like you. If you’ve seen this amazing piece of American cinema history, than you would know that they won some games despite their odds. Here’s the thing, the guys we’re throwing out there in our secondary are hungry – they aren’t multi-million dollar players that have, as Jaylon Johnson would say, “gone to the tank” and given up on trying to get better. They are playing for their livelihoods – another chance to stay in the show. Teez Tabor, Deon Bush, Kindle Vildor, and Marqui Christian/Thomas Graham Jr./Dee Virgin/Michael Joseph are going to be flying around, probably to the wrong spots sometimes, but it’s still going to be fun to watch them busting their tails.

Kirk Cousins is also a certifiable butt nugget, and I would never pick him to win.

Bears 23 – Vikings 20

Sean Fox 11-3

With the news of a recent Covid outbreak across the Bears staff and a handful of players, the Bears are in trouble. They’ll likely be missing all three of their Coordinators meaning that play calling will go back to Nagy which we all know is a bad thing. On top of that, the Bears will be without a few starters making it increasingly difficult for them to beat a tough Vikings team.

While Kirk Cousins has a dismal prime time record, I just don’t see the Vikings coming out flat while they make a push for the playoffs. The Vikings have played every game tough this season against some quality opponents they’ve beaten and lost to. In their 13 games through the 2021 season, 12 of them have been within one score. I think this one will be similar with the Vikings holding on to win by one score over the Bears on Monday Night Football.

Vikings 27 – Bears 20

Ryan Dengel 11-3

Will Matt Nagy be 5-14 or 6-13 with more than 7 days to prepare for a game? The Vikings are coming to town and surprisingly, the Bears under Matt Nagy have been very good against the Kirk Cousin led Vikes. Since Nagy took over the team in 2018, the Bears have only lost to the Vikings once, a close 13-19 loss. (oh look, the Bears didn’t score many points…)

I was having a hard time picking this game until I saw that the Bears have been decimated by a non-COVID illness AND COVID. The Bears are a bad football team and the Vikings have kept all of their losses this season pretty close. Kirk Cousins has not favored well against the Bears and only has one career win against them as a Viking, BUT he gets to throw to Justin Jefferson. Jefferson is about to have a career game against the Bears putrid secondary. More pain on the national stage. 

Vikings 38 Bears 24

Jack Wright 12-2

Whoosh. The NFL was crazy this past week. All the sudden, “the VID” tore through the league, wreaking havoc on rosters and the schedule. If the Bears play Monday they will lose. Partially because much of their lineup is either injured or on the COVID list. But also because they are starting a rookie at LT. Yikes. I foresee Justin Fields continuing to show his unwavering toughness and continually burgeoning athleticism. He is going to be so good and those who say otherwise are just plain wrong. However, his heroics will not be enough to pull the Bears through to a victory.

Vikings 40 –  Bears 14

Nick Henderson 9-5

The Vikings are sort of like the Bears (this season) in the sense of having big names that don’t necessarily translate to team wins. Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, Eric Kendricks, Harrison Smith, and 6 wins on the season.  When I play the “Madden 22” video game, I use Minnesota occasionally to simulate the excitement of Justin Jefferson taking a quick slant 70 yards to the house, or Dalvin Cook finding daylight and running free. These guys are capable of actually doing this, you just never know when.

 We all know the big names on the Bears’ roster, and we all know how this season is unfolding so there’s no need to go there. Injuries have affected our big names as much as coaching miscues, and now that I’m reading about a Covid outbreak within the team, I’m even less optimistic. The Vikings are not an intimidating team by any means, so I trust our ability to go out there and compete no matter who’s on the field. Unfortunately, I don’t think we will win this one. Minnesota is the much more functional team at this point of the season although only 2 wins better. I got the Vikes by a comfortable chunk.

Vikings 33 – Bears 24

Mike Oosterwyk 13-1

Call it misguided hope but I’m going with our beloved Bears this week. Perhaps forming part of my rationale is that Matt Nagy owns the Vikings (6-1)……..(try saying that with a straight face!)

There was a lot to like about the Bears last week against the Packers…….in the first half. Despite some setbacks, Justin Fields continues to grow and develop which has been one of the few highlights from an otherwise lackluster season. With the fans behind JF1 at Soldier Field this week, the stage is set for him to curbstomp the Vikings and ruin their chances of a playoff run.

Bears 26 – Vikings 20

Luke O’Grady 10-4

I hope Justin Fields plays Monday but it’s shaping up to possibly be Nick Foles. Either way, Vikings are a better team and they have something to play for. I got the Vikings 

Vikings 27 – Bears 17

Corie Walsh 10-4

This week’s pick is made extra difficult thanks to the very tough Covid times we live in. It seems like every day we’ve heard about more players and coordinators being placed on the Covid protocol list for both the Bears and the Vikings, so it will be interesting to see how things progress and if the game will even be able to continue as scheduled. Between regular injuries, other illnesses, and Covid, Da Bears will be putting up a pretty feeble starting lineup. And despite all of that, I’m still picking them to win this week.

If you look at the first half of last week’s game, the Bears looked like a decent football team. Not great, by any means, but pretty solid by all accounts. We ran the ball well, took chances down field, pressured effectively on the defensive side of the ball, and special teams simply balled out. I’m expecting it to be a close one, but the sparks we saw last week may very well continue for a game at home against a team we’ve dominated the past few years. Here’s to hoping! 

Bears 26 – Vikings 23

Logan Bradley 13-1

The fact that three of us are 13-1 on our picks should speak a little bit to the predictability of Matt Nagy’s Chicago Bears. This week, that predictably bad team will be going up against an unpredictably mostly-bad, some good team in the Minnesota Vikings on Monday Night.

Why, oh god, do you insist on putting the Bears on in primetime? With a ton of key players in COVID protocol, this week will be just as weird as any other Bears week. Which leads me perfectly into my prediction.

I think the Bears will win this game. Matt Nagy’s fully dumb brain works against the Vikings, and with potentially a lot of the coaching staff missing this game, his fully dumb brain will have to keep working. Don’t forget that the Vikings lost to the Lions this year, something even the Bears have yet to do. With Justin Fields almost fully healthy and the Bears playing at home, I think they get it done.

Bears 23 – Vikings 17

Brendan Sugrue 13-1

The fact COVID is running through NFL teams faster than it takes Jakeem Grant to run a punt return for a touchdown makes picking this game quite difficult. We have no idea who is going to be available and who will be able to be out on the field. As of now, the Bears have 13 players on the reserve/COVID-19 list and all three of their coordinators. It’s doubled what the Minnesota Vikings are experiencing. But the games must go on in the NFL’s eyes!

Truthfully, I was going to pick the Bears to win this game if not for the crazy COVID cases. The Vikings have had one of the most bizarre seasons in recent memory, where every game sees a crazy comeback and lead change at some point. I can easily see that in this one, despite the Bears being undermanned. The Vikings have a formula to win, however, when they feed Dalvin Cook and the running game. Cook returned from injury last week to power the Vikings to a win against the Pittsburgh Steelers and are coming off extended rest, the third opponent in a row getting that benefit when playing the Bears.

Still, neither one of these teams seems to know how to play a complete game. But given the Bears’ shuffling on the offensive line again with Larry Borom and Jason Peters out, plus knowing Matt Nagy will likely have his hands full without his three coordinators, I can’t see the Bears digging deep to find a win. COVID truly deserves the win this week, sadly.

Vikings 23 – Bears 21

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