Happy Thanksgiving, Bears fans! We thank you for your readership and support here at BGO. Without you, we’d just be hopeless Bears loyalists bickering to no one in particular. Again, many thanks. This Sunday, the Chicago Bears (6-5) will take on the Minnesota Vikings (2-8-1) in an NFC North divisional matchup. The Vikes are fresh off a tie vs the nemesis Green Bay Packers, while the Bears were most recently throttled by a St Louis Rams squad. For some reason, it feels like the Bears should have the worse record this Sunday, given how poorly they have performed at times, but Minnesota remains the more poorly constructed team. Let’s go inside the numbers, thanks to the advanced analytics from Pro Football Focus.
Somewhat amazingly, the Vikings rank 11th in the league on offense (26.0), while the Bears own a decent (12.0) rating. Minnesota appears worse than they really are due in part to their horrific quarterback play. Their (-21.0) passing grade ranks sixth-worst in the NFL. Christian Ponder has received the majority of snaps thus far, but he owns an overall grade of (-10.9). Tampa Bay cast-off Josh Freeman owns a less than robust (-10.8), and former Pro Bowler Matt Cassel has earned a (-4.9) grade. Of the 68 quarterbacks who have taken snaps this year, all three of these Vikings rank in the bottom 15. Clearly, then, Minnesota remains a one-dimensional offensive team.