What history tells us between Bears and Vikings
Brad Rempel - USA Today Sports

What history tells us between Bears and Vikings

by - Senior Writer -

Anytime you face a division rival throughout the course of an NFL season, things get kicked up a notch compared to other games. After all, this is one of your biggest rivals and a team that you face twice a season, possibly more, depending on if you see them in the playoff picture. This will be their second divisional matchup of the season for the Bears, with this one coming against the reeling Minnesota Vikings.

Unlike the Packers and Lions, whom the Bears have been playing since the 1920s and 1930s, the Vikings weren't a franchise until the 1960s, and it has been a very competitive rivalry that the Vikings currently lead 65-57-2, including a 1-0 record against the Bears in the postseason. Like the Packers game in week one, this matchup will be in Soldier Field, which does benefit the Bears in this one.

While this rivalry has been competitive for the most part, the Vikings have had the upper hand for the past decade-plus, but Soldier Field has been a house of horrors for the Vikings, and the Bears are hoping that continues this week. Throw in that Justin Jefferson is on the IR, the Vikings are 1-4 in one-score games, and lead the league in turnovers; the Bears could have the advantage in this one, which will go a long way to building confidence going forward.

The Vikings may have won last season's game at Soldier Field 29-13, but that was in week 18 when the Bears were stuck in the middle of a 10-game losing streak that reached 14 games this season. That followed two consecutive wins by the Vikings at Soldier Field, as they have done a tremendous job finding a way to win on the road.

Considering how bad the Bears have been in recent seasons, that shouldn't come as a surprise, but these teams are evenly matched for the first time in years.

Apart from the recent success, there was a long stretch of games at Soldier Field where the Vikings struggled to win games, going 2-9 over an 11-game stretch and 4-11 over a 15-game stretch. For whatever reason, Soldier Field has been a house of horrors for this team, and the Bears are hoping that trend can continue this weekend and they can end their three-game losing streak against this team at home.

With Jefferson out of the lineup, the Bears defense can take a deep breath as they don't have to worry about covering arguably the best WR in the game. That will undoubtedly help, considering the Bears struggle to get to the QB. Still, the Bears are getting some of their pieces back in the secondary, so it would've been interesting to see how things would have unfolded if everyone was healthy.

Another thing the Bears have going for them is a poor Vikings offensive line that has led to Kirk Cousins getting hammered from start to finish. For a team that had two sacks entering Thursday before coming away with five sacks against Washington, this has the making of another game where they may be able to get after the QB and force some bad throws.

Like most division rivals, you can throw records out of the window when these teams get together, as they tend to be good and competitive games. Part of that is just how familiar these teams are with one another. Anytime you see a team twice during the season, there isn't a ton that either of these teams can throw out there that will surprise the other. When that happens, it all comes down to coaching and execution, and both of these coaches are in their second season with their respective teams.

Kevin O'Connell has had more success than Matt Eberflus right now, but he has made some poor decisions this season, and you have to wonder if that is a sign of panic, considering how things have transpired this season. Either way, you have two teams hungry to keep their season alive with a win, as this should be another great game to add to this historic rivalry.

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