Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears Pick & Prediction JANUARY 8th 2023

Stadium: Soldier Field Chicago
Logo Minnesota Vikings
Logo Chicago Bears

-7 +110
46o -113



A month of inconsistency has clouded the Minnesota Vikings' playoff outlook.

With one game remaining before the postseason, the Vikings will hope to bag some momentum -- and improved vibes -- as they visit the struggling Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon.

Minnesota (12-4) clinched the NFC North last month but since has fallen to the third seed in the NFC playoff bracket. A 41-17 loss to the host Green Bay Packers last week coupled with a San Francisco 49ers victory against the Las Vegas Raiders ousted Minnesota from the second seed.

The Vikings can return to the No. 2 slot in the conference with a win against the Bears plus a 49ers loss to the Arizona Cardinals. Minnesota coach Kevin O'Connell said the team would use its starters in Chicago.

"We still have a lot to play for just from a momentum standpoint (for) a football team that's kind of had some highs this year, for sure, and then one of our low moments of the season (in Green Bay), where you'd like to be able to rely on a lot of things we built here to come back together and make sure we rectify some of the issues," O'Connell said.

Minnesota edged the visiting Bears 29-22 in Week 5, the Vikings' third straight victory in what proved a stretch of seven wins in a row.

Justin Jefferson had 12 receptions for 154 yards in the game for the Vikings, and he will aim to come closer to that performance after catching just one pass for 15 yards against the Packers. Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins passed for one touchdown and threw three interceptions at Green Bay.

The Bears (3-13) enter on a franchise-worst, nine-game losing streak. Week 17 brought the most lopsided defeat in that skid, 41-10 against the host Detroit Lions. Chicago will sit quarterback Justin Fields for the finale as the second-year pro deals with a hip strain.

Fields will finish 64 yards away from establishing the NFL single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback. Baltimore's Lamar Jackson set the mark of 1,206 yards in 2019.

Bears backup Nathan Peterman will get the call under center in his first start since 2018, when he played for the Buffalo Bills.

"It's an awesome opportunity," Peterman said. "It's been a few years. Still have gotten to play a lot of football in preseason or whatnot, but obviously a regular-season game is an amazing opportunity and I'm looking forward to it.

"It's been a lot of hard work putting into this season and a lot of ups and downs, obviously, but to go out on a great note, have some fun and just go out and play football is going to be a good thing."

Whereas the Vikings are jockeying for playoff seeding, the Bears still stand a chance of earning the top pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. A loss to Minnesota coupled with a Houston Texans win against the Indianapolis Colts would get them there.

Bears coach Matt Eberflus said draft positioning didn't impact the decision to rule Fields out for the game.

Minnesota swept two games against Chicago last season, the Vikings' first season sweep of the Bears since 2017.

--Field Level Media

Minnesota Vikings
Chicago Bears

Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears Recap JAN 8TH 2023

Alexander Mattison ran for two touchdowns and Greg Joseph kicked three field goals to boost the visiting Minnesota Vikings to a 29-13 victory against the Chicago Bears on Sunday to remain in the hunt for the No. 2 seed in the NFC playoffs.

Minnesota, the NFC North champion, rebounded from last week's lopsided loss at Green Bay, outgaining Chicago 482-259. The Vikings (13-4) entered the week seeded third in the conference but could climb to the No. 2 spot with a San Francisco loss to Arizona later Sunday.

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins went 17-for-20 passing for 225 yards and a touchdown in the first half before yielding to backup Nick Mullens to rest for the playoffs.

Chicago (3-14) closed the season on a 10-game losing streak, continuing the longest slide in the franchise's 123 seasons. The Bears suffered 14 losses for the first time in their history after last losing as many as 13 games in 2016.

The NFL expanded the schedule to 17 games from 16 last season.

With backup Nathan Peterman starting at quarterback as Josh Fields (strained hip) was sidelined due to injury, the Bears' attack scuffled. Chicago trailed 16-0 before getting on the scoreboard on a 42-yard Velus Jones touchdown run. The two-point conversion attempt failed.

Peterman connected with Cole Kmet for an 11-yard touchdown pass with 4:07 to play in the third quarter, but the Vikings responded with Joseph's 50-yard field goal. He capped the scoring with a 41-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.

Mattison gained 54 yards on 10 carries. Mullens was 11-for-13 for 116 yards and an interception, while K.J. Osborn had 117 yards on five receptions.

Peterman was 11-for-19 for 114 yards and a score. Khalil Herbert led the Bears' ground game with 50 yards on 10 carries, while Kmet was the top receiver with 57 yards on four catches.

The Vikings, who edged the visiting Bears 29-22 in Week 5, earned a sweep of the season series in consecutive years for the first time since 1997-98.

--Field Level Media