The 2010 NFL Monday Night Football game between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings is set for December 20 at 8:30 PM EST. Due to the recent collapse of the Metrodome’s roof, the game will be moved to TCF Bank Stadium. ESPN will carry the game live. Chicago is currently first in the NFC North with a 9-4 record; Minnesota is two places behind Chicago in the division, enduring a disappointing 5-8 record. This article provides TV time and predictions for the 2010 Bears-Vikings game.
1) Bears-Vikings Matchup
This week’s Monday Night Football game features two intra-division foes in the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings. Since 2006, the two teams have met 10 times with the Bears enjoying a 6-4 advantage. Chicago has won two in the row against rival Minnesota, though the latter owns an excellent home record against the Bears. The last meeting between the teams was earlier this year; the Vikings lost that game 13-27.
2) Jay Cutler vs. Joe Webb
This was supposed to be a match-up of two quality quarterbacks in Jay Cutler and Brett Favre. Unfortunately, the same injury that put an end to Favre’s ironman streak will also prevent the Hall-of-Famer from making the start this week. Instead, Cutler will face rookie QB Joe Webb. For the season, the Bears’ quarterback has accumulated 2697 passing yards, 17 TDs, and a QB rating of 88. Joe Webb has only played two games this season, completing 2 of 5 pass attempts. Jay Cutler has a clear advantage in this lopsided match-up.
3) Lovie Smith vs. Leslie Frazier
Monday’s game is a tale of two NFL franchises going on diverging paths. The Chicago Bears is having a superb season, enjoying a comfortable lead in the NFC North. The Minnesota Vikings, on the other hand, is facing all sorts of problems. In addition to the recent firing of Brad Childress and a damaged Metrodome, there is currently no clear successor to Brett Favre. On paper, Chicago is the huge favorite to win this contest.
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If Lovie Smith’s team will indeed make it to the postseason, all credits should be given to its defensive unit. The Bears rank 3rd in the NFL in points allowed, behind only the Packers and Steelers. Chicago is especially effective against the run, placing 2nd overall. Despite having a Pro-Bowl quarterback in Jay Cutler, the team’s offense has been the weak link this season. Lovie Smith’s crew is near the bottom of league in both passing and rushing. This shortcoming will give the Vikings a slight opening to perhaps pull off a big upset at home.
The Minnesota Vikings share many similarities with rival Chicago. Leslie Frazier’s team is very solid in defense, but is decisively poor in offense. The Vikings rank a respectable 11th in defense, placing 10th in opponent passing yards and 8th in rushing defense. Unfortunately, the team’s offense (even when Brett Favre was playing) has been atrociously bad. Frazier’s crew is next to last in the NFL in scoring and 24th in passing. With rookie QB Joe Webb slated to start in this contest, one would wonder if the team will be able to put any point on the board.
My prediction for the 2010 NFL Monday Night Football game between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings; the Bears win an ugly game by the score of 10-3. Kickoff time for the game is 8:30 PM EST. ESPN will broadcast this contest.