What History tells us between Bears and Vikings
|Sunday, December 19, 2021, 10:00 AM- -|
This season has been an NFL season unlike any other, as plenty of memorable moments has happened. Not only has this been the first time in NFL history that we have seen an 18-week 17-game regular season, but the scheduling committee wanted to do things a bit differently this season. That included tons of non-divisional games early on, which leads to more competitive games during the second half of the season.
For the Bears, the scheduling committee went off the wall as they see the Vikings two of their last four games. That means 13 games into the regular season, the Bears have yet to play the Minnesota Vikings, and now that is the case for two of the final four games this season. Unlike the Green Bay Packers or Detroit Lions, whom the Bears have played for nearly a century, this is the youngest divisional rivalries, which didn't happen until 1961. At this point, the Vikings hold a slim 61-57-2 lead.
Despite winning the first-ever meeting between the teams coming away with the 37-13 win, the early portion of this rivalry was all Minnesota as the Vikings won five of the next games, including a tie mixed in. Chicago responded by winning two of the next three games, but once again, it was all Vikings after that as they won five of the next six with the second and last tie as part of that.
Once 1969 arrived, the Bears started taking things into their own hands as they were the ones who were now gaining the advantage. Not only did the Bears win four straight from 1969-1970, but they won five of seven as momentum was starting to turn on their side. The Bears then went on to win eight straight games following a loss and won nine of 11 in total as this team was now the Big brothers of the rivalry.
As the 1970s closed and the 80s began, the Bears continued their strong stretch of play, securing four more wins in a row as they now led the overall series. By the time 1984 rolled around, Minnesota started to take advantage for the first time in a while, which resulted in six straight wins and eight of nine in total. The only exception was the Bears 23-7 win in 1986.
Neither team had the advantage throughout the next eight or nine years as they seemed to trade wins from one game or one year to the next. That is all you can ask for when it comes to a rivalry, and when you look at how close the overall standings are, it shouldn't be a surprise. Chicago had their issues in the 1990s, while the Vikings did not, and they once again started to impose their will on the Bears.
Over the course of three years from 1992-94, the Vikings not only won all six meetings, but three of those games were also lopsided scores as the Bears once stranglehold of things was slipping away. Chicago responded by winning three of the following five games spanning three years, but the Vikings closed out the 1990s by winning seven of their last eight meetings, with the Bears scoring a 24-22 win in 1999.
As the new Millenium began, the Vikings stumbled out of the gates, losing three of the first four meetings, which included a three-game skid right away. Take that away, and things remained evenly matched for the better part of eight years as neither team was having a ton of success against the other. In 2009, the Bears put together their last stretch of dominating play, which included six straight wins and seven of nine.
Minnesota has established a three-game winning streak spanning covering all three meetings in 2017 while the Bears won four straight in 2018 and 19. Ironically three of those wins came against Brett Favre as a member of the Vikings after failing to beat him consistently when he was with the Packers. Following that stretch of success, it has been a balanced rivalry, with the Vikings holding a slight edge in terms of wins, but not by much.
All in all, you have a rivalry that is slightly in favor of the Vikings, but for the most part, has been evenly matched over the better part of the last 20 years. One thing we do know is that the Vikings historically have struggled at Soldier Field, and that is where the game on Monday will be. If history repeats itself, the Vikings could be in for a long night in Chicago. However, they did win in Chicago last year, and that too was a primetime game.