We are within sixty minutes of kickoff for what. . .barring something just incredibly weird happening. . .will be the final home game of the 2020 NFL season for your Minnesota Vikings, as they will play host to the Chicago Bears. The winner of this one will keep themselves alive in the race for the final NFC playoff spot, while things will be basically over for the team that loses.
Let’s make sure you’re up to speed on all the important stuff.
Date and Time: Sunday, 20 December 2020, noon Central time
Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Television coverage: KSTP-9 in the Twin Cities, FOX affiliates across the nation, DirecTV Channel 711
Radio Coverage: Vikings Radio Network, Sirius Channel 83, XM Channel 225, SiriusXM App Channel 820
Line: Vikings -3, Over/Under 47
Chris’ Prediction: Vikings 24, Bears 20
1) For the love of God, get some pressure on the quarterback - Last week in Tampa Bay, Tom Brady dropped back to pass 23 times. He was pressured on exactly three of those dropbacks, according to Pro Football Focus. Any quarterback is going to be able to get the job done when there’s no pressure, even Mitchell Trubisky. . .who, for some weird reason, seems to have the Vikings’ number. The Vikings have to find a way to get pressure on Trubisky if they want to win today.
2) Air it out. No, seriously. - Yes, the Vikings’ offense is supposed to run through Dalvin Cook. I get that. But the Bears come into this one without two of their top three cornerbacks and one of their starting safeties, so the opportunities should be there for the Vikings’ passing game. In particular, keep an eye on Irv Smith Jr., as the Bears have been abysmal against tight ends this year.
3) Go for it and go for two every time - I’m only half joking here. Until Dan Bailey proves that he has the ability to remove his head from his fourth point of contact, he can’t be trusted on anything longer than about a 30-yard field goal. . .and even then things are iffy. Here’s hoping he’s over his case of the yips, because the Vikings can’t leave 10 points on the field in this one like they did last week.
Know the Foe: Windy City Gridiron
As always, the new Open Threads will start at the beginning of each quarter, so keep an eye out for those and move the conversation accordingly.
In about three hours, we’ll know if the Minnesota Vikings still have a glimmer of hope for the playoffs or if the competitive portion of their season is officially over. Personally, I’m hoping for the former.