vs. Minnesota Vikings
The Chicago Bears round out the four game portion of the season with the first of two meetings with the Minnesota Vikings. The game is also a Monday Night Football game and the second within the four-game span.
The Vikings have gotten worse on defense and have not improved enough in my opinion on offense. Trading away Stefon Diggs to essentially replace him with Justin Jefferson is a wash at this point. Jefferson could finish with a better career than Diggs, but I do not expect him to have a breakout type season his rookie year.
I love the addition of Ezra Cleveland though. He was a second-round draft target I was hoping the Chicago Bears would consider. I think he finds his way onto the starting line.
The team also lost starting cornerbacks Xavier Rhodes and Trae Waynes this offseason. The team will be counting on first-round draft pick Jeff Gladney to man one side while also counting on former first-round draft pick (2018) Mike Hughes to man the opposite side. We do not have much to go on regarding Gladney at this point. I like the pick and he was a guy I thought could fall to the Bears at 43rd overall. Instead he went 31st and at the bottom of the first round.
Hughes we do have history on though, and well it is not that great. In 2018, Hughes allowed 66.7 percent of the passes thrown his way to be completed. He also allowed two touchdowns and this was on only thirty targets. Quarterbacks had a 104 quarterback rating while targeting Hughes.
2019 was not much better for Hughes. The quarterback rating dropped to 91.9 and the completion percentage fell to 61.2 percent. He still gave up three touchdowns, but this was on more than double the targets at 67. Needless to say, the secondary is somewhat iffy with these two manning the outside.
The pass rush could be suspect too as the team is counting on seventh-round pick Ifedi Odenigbo who had a breakout seven-sack season last year. Can he repeat that though? The thing is, the Chicago Bears and Matt Nagy are 4-0 versus the Vikings the last two years. It seems the defense has Kirk Cousins’ number. The team will struggle, but I see them fighting out a victory.
Prediction: Bears win 24-21
Final thoughts: The team needs to come away 2-2 during this span. Luckily the team has the bye week after these four games because the Chicago Bears face off against the Packers twice, the Lions again and the Vikings again. The team will also be going up against the Texans during the last six games. Only the Jaguars should come with an easy win during that span.