Minnesota ranks 24th in pass success rate against.
David Montgomery has been ruled out.
Minnesota heads to Chicago for an NFC North matchup that feels like a low-scoring affair on its face, but may not prove to be. Both teams definitely like to play slow, and Minnesota in particular is a run-heavy offense that has the lowest pass rate against expectation (calculated based on down, distance, score, and other factors).
But Minnesota’s rushing attack has been extremely efficient over the past two weeks, as Dalvin Cook has totaled well over 200 total yards in each contest. Of course, those two games were against soft rush defenses in the Packers and Lions, and the Bears defense ranks third in the league in success rate against the run (and first against the pass). Minnesota’s offense has certainly been clicking since the bye, but they’ll need another gear to keep things moving here.
The Bears have been trending down since a 5-1 start, losing three straight. Running back David Montgomery is out, leaving a potential committee headed by Ryan Nall and Cordarrelle Patterson. Odd as it may seem, that might actually play into Chicago’s favor — Montgomery has been an inefficient runner all season, and if his absence leads to Chicago throwing more against the Vikings’ soft pass defense, that’s likely a net positive.
I like the Bears to take advantage of plus matchups with Allen Robinson and rookie Darnell Mooney on the outside. I think their defense can slow down Minnesota’s offense enough, and one thing that always seems true with the inconsistent Vikings is just when you think they’re clicking — or when you’re sure they stink — they’ll flip the other way.
Backing Nick Foles is always precarious, but we get the advantage of a relatively weak Vikings pass rush that should keep him under less pressure than usual. Foles hasn’t been particularly good statistically when kept clean in the pocket, but PFF has graded him much better in those situations, and at least the logic follows that an immobile quarterback could benefit from not having to move around. Look, it’s never easy to make a case to bet on Nick Foles.
The bottom line is the Bears are three-point dogs at home off their recent three-game losing streak, and that’s probably an overreaction. Sure, they aren’t great. But I’m not convinced the Vikings are either, and for as incredible as Dalvin Cook is you can’t rely on any back to put up 200-yard performances for your offense to look functional. The matchups are in Chicago’s favor, and I’m taking Da Bears.
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Chicago Bears +3 @ +105
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We're over the halfway point now as we enter Week 10 of this wild NFL season. The New England Patriots welcome the Baltimore Ravens to town on primetime this Sunday, and the following night we see the Vikings at the Bears. We see some big divisional games this week including the Seahawks and Rams. We also see two young rookies clash as Justin Herbert's Chargers travel to Miami to face Tua and the Dolphins.
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