When the 2022 NFL schedule was released late last week, many of us immediately expected to see the Minnesota Vikings hosting the Chicago Bears in Week 18, because. . .well, that’s just the way the NFL had done things over most of the last decade. The final regular-season home game at U.S. Bank Stadium in every season of its existence has featured the Bears, and Bears at Vikings has been the final game for the purple in all but two years since 2014.
However, the NFL threw a bit of a curveball at us this time around, and as a result we’re going to see something that we haven’t seen in a very, very long time.
As Dustin Baker points out over at Vikings Territory, the 2022 season will mark the first time the Vikings have finished a regular season in Chicago in over 50 years.
The last time the Vikings’ final regular-season game took place in Chicago was back in 1971, when the Bob Lee-led Vikings went into Soldier Field and took the Bears down by a final score of 27-10, capping an 11-3 regular season.
Overall, the Bears and Vikings have met in the regular-season finale in Chicago five times throughout the Vikings’ history. It first happened in the Vikings’ first year in the NFL in 1961, where the Bears won a shootout by a score of 52-35. They then finished the season against each other in Chicago in three consecutive years from 1964 to 1966, with the Vikings winning two of those three contests. But, we haven’t seen the Bears and Vikings face off in Chicago since that 1971 contest mentioned earlier.
The schedule makers didn’t do the Vikings any favors at the end of their schedule, sending them to both Green Bay and Chicago in early January to finish their regular season. Hopefully, the Vikings can mark the end of this stretch of not traveling to Chicago for their season finale with a third consecutive victory at Soldier Field and propel themselves to the post-season as a result.