The Vikings lead the all-time series against the Bears 60-52-2. The Vikings have won six of the last seven meetings against the Bears and Mike Zimmer has a 6-2 record against the Chicago. The history of this rivalry (and especially the recent history) points toward a Vikings win on Sunday night.
The one significant caveat is that Soldier Field is where the hopes and dreams of many past Vikings’ team have crashed and burned. When the Bears play the Vikings in Soldier Field, Chicago become as scary as Michael Myers on Halloween.
Since the turn of the century, the Vikings are 4-13 in Soldier Field (this doesn’t count the 2002 loss in Champaign when Soldier Field was getting renovated, so 4-14 overall in Illinois this century). That includes a seven-game losing streak which started in Adrian Peterson’s second season and ended in Teddy Bridgewater’s second year.
The terrifying thing about Soldier Field is not just the amount of losses that the Vikings have piled up in that building. It’s the way they’ve happened.
You had the Week 2 game in 2013 where the Vikings lost after allowing the Bears to drive down the field and score with 10 seconds left. After this game, Erin Henderson said that the Vikings’ coverage on the final play was one that they hadn’t practiced…and it showed.
This put the Vikings at 0-2, both divisional losses, and foreshadowed what was to come in a disappointing 6-10 season.
Then there was the debacle in 2016, where the 5-1 Vikings were trying to respond after taking a beating by the Eagles a week earlier. Their response wasn’t impressive as they lost to the 1-6 Bears, 20-10.
The offensive line gave up five sacks and the defense let up 158 rushing yards. This game was on Halloween and it was scarier than any horror movie I’ve seen. Now that I think about it, the blood rushing out of the elevator in The Shining is a perfect metaphor for the 2016 offense after the 5-0 start.
It was clear after this loss that despite starting 5-0, the Vikings were going to struggle to make the playoffs (which they didn’t).
The unanimous choice for the worst loss in Soldier Field has to be Week 16 in 2009. The Vikings were 11-3 heading into that matchup, looking to secure home-field advantage for the playoffs. After getting pummeled for most of the game and trailing 23-6 with 6:30 left in the third quarter, Brett Favre came alive and engineered an amazing comeback, eventually forcing overtime after he hit Sidney Rice for a game-tying score with 16 seconds left.
After Robbie Gould missed a 45-yard field goal (don’t fact check me on this, but I’m convinced that was the only field goal under 50 yards Gould ever missed against the Vikings), the Vikings had a chance to drive to win the game. Two plays later, Adrian Peterson fumbled (one of seven that year) which gave the Bears life. Jay Cutler fired a 39-yard touchdown pass to Devin Aromashodu to pull off a huge upset and make the Vikings settle for the two seed.
A few things REALLY sucked about this game. First, it meant the Vikings had to go to New Orleans for the NFC Championship game, which didn’t go well. Second, the Vikings lost to a Bears team that finished 7-9 and had a quarterback that threw a league-high 26 interceptions that season.
Third, they let Devin Aromashodu torch them. He had seven catches for 150 receiving yards in that game. That was over half of the total receiving yards he had that year (298). That was more than he had in the entire 2007 and 2010 seasons. The worst part is that since he did this against the Vikings, they thought it would be a good idea to sign him two years later. In 31 games, he had 37 catches for 650 yards and one touchdown. This game was a cruel joke and it set up the worst thing that ever happened in my sports adolescence.
Enough about the past. Zimmer ended the losing streak three years ago and was able to come back last year and win in Soldier Field again despite Sam Bradford playing the entire first half without being able to move. The Vikings are coming off a bye and their defense is rested after sacking Matthew Stafford 10 times (the Bears only sacked him six times in their win on Sunday). The toughest defense that Mitch Trubisky has faced this season is the Cardinals? Maybe the Bills? The point is he hasn’t seen a defense nearly as good as this one, and he’s already struggled against them in the past.
Despite all the failures in the past, I’m confident this team can go to the House of Horrors and get a victory to claim sole possession of first place in the NFC North on Sunday Night.
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