One losing streak down. Now the Vikings are looking to add another to the list.
When the Vikings face the Bears Sunday at Soldier Field, they will be looking to snap a five-game losing streak against Chicago. Leslie Frazier has never beaten the Bears as a head coach, posting an 0-3 record and the last time the Vikings beat the Bears, Brett Favre was their starting quarterback.
Soldier Field has been the Vikings' personal house of horrors. The Vikings haven't beaten the Bears on their home turf since 2007 and, even when the Bears offense was pedestrian at best, they found ways to put up big points, posting wins of 48-41 in 2008 and 36-30 in overtime in 2009. But, perhaps last year was the most humbling defeat of all. The Vikings fell behind Chicago 26-3 at halftime on their way to a 39-10 beatdown at the hands of the Bears in which Devin Hester scored on a 98-yard kickoff return and caught a 48-yard touchdown pass. In their rematch at the Metrodome, the song remained the same – the Bears intercepted the Vikings three times, including a pick-six by Charles Tillman in a 17-13 Chicago win.
The Bears have owned the Vikings over the last three years, beating them at Soldier Field, the Metrodome and even TCF Bank Stadium. If the Vikings are to be a playoff team, they have to snap that streak. The Bears were exposed on Monday night by the 49ers and the layout of the preparation week clearly benefits the Vikings. In a week where the Thanksgiving holiday cuts into the practice schedule somewhat, the Vikings come into Sunday's game rested and ready to go, while the Bears had to fly back to Chicago late Monday night and have a short week of preparation for Sunday.
If the Vikings are to be a playoff team, they have to end the losing streak against teams like the Bears and Packers and win games on the road. They can accomplish both of those two things (at least as it pertains to Chicago) on Sunday. If nothing else, it appears that the league has set the Vikings up to succeed by getting extra rest heading into the matchup. The big question now whether or not the Vikings take advantage of it.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this topic on our message boards. To become a subscriber to the Viking Update web site or magazine, click here.