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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Early season must-win? Vikings’ matchup with Bears could swing the season

By Matthew Coller

Last year, the Minnesota Vikings’ season felt far from over after an ugly 20-10 loss at Soldier Field in Chicago, but it turned out to be the game that sent the season into a spiral. Because of the upcoming schedule, Monday night’s game against the Bears could have a major impact on whether the Vikings eventually become a playoff team.

Things never go exactly the way we expect – otherwise we would all be better gamblers – but the Vikings should expect to come out of the second quarter of the season with a 3-1 record. Following the matchup against the Bears, they play Green Bay and Baltimore at home before heading to London to take on the Cleveland Browns.

The Vikings have a chance to win all four and are the decidedly stronger team in three.

Coming out of the bye week 5-3 is essential because the combined current records of the Vikings’ games between Week 10 and Week 14 is 11-5.

They play Washington’s dynamic offense on the road, then play the league’s biggest surprise team the L.A. Rams at home, then on the road to Detroit, Atlanta and Carolina.

If the Vikings get Sam Bradford back at 100%, they can match up with those teams, but road games against Matt Stafford, Matt Ryan and Cam Newton won’t come easy.

Allowing one to get away in Chicago would set the Vikings on a serious uphill battle and be a blow to confidence that they can compete with the best teams minus star running back Dalvin Cook.

The Bears are one of the league’s worst teams on offense and defense. They have been outscored by 43 points, worst in the NFC.

It’s too early to call the game a “must-win,” but coming out of Monday night’s game with a win would set the Vikings up to end the second quarter of the year in the driver’s seat, while losing would put them in a spot to need upsets later on.

The post Early season must-win? Vikings’ matchup with Bears could swing the season appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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