Chicago Sun-Times

Prediction time: Bears at Vikings

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Seedy Backslash is claiming victory for being the only person to predict the Pats would beat the Bears last week. Since his pick was 37-31, and the Patriots won 36-7, it's a hollow victory, to be sure, but a victory nonetheless.

As for this week, the Bears may have spent as much time worrying about where they will play instead of who they're going to play.

They can clinch the NFC North if the Patriots beat the Packers tonight. But what if the Packers win? As unlikely as that might seem, if that were to happen, it could take away the team's motivation.

This is going to be a weird game in a weird setting. In the end, however, I expect the Bears to come out on top in a low-scoring affair. My prediction: 16-9.

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14 Comments

if the packers win today that would be the best moivation for the bears to win. bears need to maintain a lead on their rivals who are scratching at their heels

Kind of late on the prediction scene this week, Neil. I'll go Bears 28-13 and wish I could be there for the post-game celebration for clinching the Division. Usually I am annoyed as hell when coaches sit their best players after clinching their play-off spot, but this time arouind I could see letting Haney get his feet wet a couple of games. I realize that's not likely because of the home field and seeding factors, but risking Cutler with the Bears' offensive line the way it is might be foolhardy.

Neil,

Before I get into my prediction, maybe you and/or Sean saw some of the "heated" back and forth this week under one of the blog posts. The exchange started when John F listed the Bears games and his take on the games. I happened to mention that although you can't put asterisks next to games {unless, of course, you are Ditka in 88..lol}, there have been some incredible "quirks" that have befallen the Bears this season. A team, on occasion, will face a 3rd string QB, or a team that has quit on their coach, or a team that is worse than 0-6 during a 16 game season. And on very rare occasions it might happen twice. But in a 10 week period {dating back to the Carolina game and through this Monday night game} the Bears will have faced an 0-7 team, {3} third string QB's, 1 second string QB {Clausen, or was he the 3rd string too?} and a team that had completely quit on their head coach.

What are either of your's two cents on the debate? Of the 4 remaining "normal" games in the 10 week stretch {Seahawks, Redskins, Eagles, and Patriots} the Bears were 1-3. As I have re-iterated time and time again to my fellow bloggers, I don't want any long term committment to Angelo {especially him} and Lovie to be based off of a season of "success" that was more the result of an extremely weird season than it was due to vast improvement on the Bears.

Having said that, I don't see the Viklings scoring more than a field goal or 2. Bears need to make a statement to the country watching. Bears 27-6

One last thing. Merry Christmas to Neil and Sean and all the regulars out there. Esteven, UpRooted, Creighton, Greg, Kevin, Dahli, Joe, John F, Seedy, MS, Paul, and even Mike and Chuck. If I have forgotten anyone, my apologies. It's due to old age...Just ask Mike and Anonymous {Greg}...lol. Be safe, Gentlemen, it's been fun.

Bears 28-3.

Vikings 17, Bears 10

Total trap game for the Bears

Well thanks Gearheadboy, and I do listen to you on the Score. I can be civil and still disagree with you. What you see as quirks, I see as the NFL. Everyone has them.

But on to business, I expected the Bears to beat the Pats, no better reason than the Pats are playing out of their minds in week 13, and they are due to come back to earth sometime, and that time is coming, but this one is easy to predict the winner, hard to predict the score. Bears 20 Vikes 16. That frozen field and AP just makes me wonder, but the Bears will clinch the playoffs with this victory, thanks Lions.

Bears 13 Vikings 6

Neither team is going anywhere in this game. It may as well be the "Yawn Bowl" if you are not a Bear, Packer, or Vikings fan. No reason to watch the game otherwise.

Gearhead, why do people continue to question whether or not fans should take anything away from this team because of who they've had to face? Who cut the team any slack when they lost 2/3 of their linebackers during the first game of last year and had so many imjuries on both sides of the ball? No one sat back and said that injuries are an excuse. You suit up your back ups and they have to go. These guys made NFL rosters so they have ability and they are officially pros. I can't even say it's luck because that's superstition to just explain what you can't explain. Look at what Flynn did against the Patriots. Guys just have to play. And before you chalk my comments up to some new guy trying to call you out I have to let you know that I'm an old regular from the Brad Bigg days who just read the comments now because I got tired of guys arguing with each other and playing "the dozens" instead of just talking about the sport. Plus, we didn't have to deal with Captcha. The negatvity isn't as prevalent as it was too.

Looks like we all predict a low-scoring game. I hope we're all wromg and that the Bears blow them out by forty points.I also wish all you youngsters a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Let me be daring here and pick the Vikes. Brett Favre, as today's news suggests, will end up the starter. Couple that with the Bears going into hibernation during inclement winter conditions, just as they did against the Patriots. Vikes 21-10, much as I hate to predict it.

The better running team (unfortunately, the Vikings) will have the advantage tonight. That includes the new "running QB" for the Vikings. Look for a lot of counters and draws from the Vikings tonight, to take away the Bears aggressiveness.

I think Cutler is gonna get beat up pretty badly tonight and we will have virtually no running game.

With the way the conditions are expected to be, the team with the best basic blocking and tackling fundamentals will come out on top (not the Bears strong suits).

I'll take the opposite of Sean's pick - Vikings 16, Bears 9

P.S. I absolutely knew the Bears would get blasted by the Pats, my bad for not predicting it officially.

Bears:20 Vikings:9

Im thinking that this game isnt going to give much to be wowed about. What will be exciting is that the Bears are NFC North Champs.

Mmmmm....Bears 30, Vikes 9

Merry Christmas to everyone too...

WRD,

Once again, people miss the point. I agree, injuries, teams that suck, and teams quitting on coaches are all part of the game. But I ask you, like I posed the question before. Give me 1 instance in the past 35 years of football where 1 team in a 10 game stretch got to play 3 third string QB's, 1 second string QB, 1 team that was 0-7, and another that had quit on it's coach and had a major division in the locker room. I can't think of more than 1 or 2 of those scenarios befalling a team during a 16 game season. Not to mention the fact that the Bears also have a victory where the opposing team had 18 accepted penalties against them in the game. Several of those penalties were 15 yarders.

If the Bears had encountered maybe 1, 2, or even 3 of the above scenarios, then I would say those who argue against me, would have a leg to stand on. But as I pointed out above, in the 4 "normal" games since the Carolina game, the Bears are 1-3. This weeks contest will be another huge test for the Bears. And I am guessing {maybe you guys up there know already} that the TV network is going to make this game a nationally televised game.

And the argument that backups are pros too, is honestly, very weak. The RARE occasions are the Matt Cassels of the world. The norm is a guy like a Patrick Ramsey, T. Jackson, or Clausen coming in to replace an entrenched starter. In the modern NFL your really good backups either become your starters or someone elses due to the salary cap.

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This page contains a single entry by Neil Hayes published on December 19, 2010 9:35 AM.

Bowman ready if Tillman can't go was the previous entry in this blog.

Vikings punter tees off on TCF Bank Stadium turf is the next entry in this blog.

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