Bears at Vikings: Time, the way to watch, TV, reside stream, knowledgeable picks, key matchups for ‘Monday Evening Soccer’

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By Calvin S. Nelson

After a wild Week 12, the “Monday Evening Soccer” matchup pits the Minnesota Vikings towards the Chicago Bears. 

The Vikes misplaced their first sport of the Josh Dobbs period final week, however maintained their place within the NFC wild card image. The Bears dropped Justin Fields’ return-from-injury sport in dramatic vogue towards the Lions, and now sit at simply 3-8. 

Minnesota must win to maintain tempo with the opposite wild card groups and preserve some semblance of contact within the NFC North, whereas Chicago is extra so taking part in out the string for draft place and analysis functions. Nonetheless, a division sport can all the time be attention-grabbing, and each groups absolutely need to head into their respective bye weeks feeling good. 

So, can the Vikings maintain tempo within the NFC playoff image, or will the Bears deal their division rivals a blow? We’ll discover out quickly sufficient. Earlier than we break down the matchup, here is a take a look at how one can watch the sport.

How you can watch

Date: Monday, Nov. 27 | Time: 8:15 p.m. ET
Location: US Financial institution Stadium (Minneapolis)
TV: ABC/ESPN | Stream on fubo (attempt at no cost
Observe: CBS Sports activities App 
Odds: Vikings -3, O/U 43 (by way of Sportsline consensus odds)

When the Bears have the ball

Justin Fields returned from harm final week to finish 16 of 23 passes (69.6%) for 169 yards (7.4 YPA) and a landing, whereas additionally operating an unimaginable 18 occasions for 104 yards. His 13 designed runs had been his most in a sport this season, and in reality essentially the most of his profession up to now. There are solely two cases of a quarterback having extra designed runs than that at any time within the final three years: Lamar Jackson (14) towards the Chiefs in 2021, and Taysom Hill (14) towards the Eagles final 12 months.

Why, precisely, the Bears studiously averted utilizing Fields within the run sport fairly so typically earlier this season is a thriller, nevertheless it’s clear that leaning into the most effective elements of his talent set needs to be the idea of their offensive plan. Minnesota has really carried out a superb job towards the QB run sport thus far this 12 months, together with holding Jalen Hurts to simply 35 yards on 12 carries. (He had solely 18 yards on his six designed runs that weren’t Tush Pushes.) 

Defensive coordinator Brian Flores has dialed up an absurd quantity of blitzes all through the season, and so they have the Vikings checking in ninth in FTN’s defensive DVOA, in addition to ninth towards each the run and the move. Flores has despatched no less than 5 rushes on 47% of opponent dropbacks, per Tru Media, whereas Fields has been blitzed extra typically (34.8%) than any quarterback save for Gardner Minshew and Brock Purdy. When dealing with 5 or extra rushers, Fields ranks simply nineteenth amongst certified quarterbacks in EPA/play, and his sack price has spiked to an outrageous 14.7% of dropbacks. He is additionally solely scrambled away from 13.6% of pressured dropbacks, averaging 7 yards per scamper. When not blitzed, Fields’ sack price is 11%, his scramble price is 21.1%, and he is averaged 9.2 yards per scramble.

Fields ought to have some benefits on the surface with D.J. Moore towards Minnesota’s corners, who for essentially the most half been simply beatable in protection this season. Moore has receiving traces of 8-131-1, 8-230-3, 5-51-0, and 7-96-1 in Fields’ final 4 begins, and given how typically the Bears have been transferring him across the formation they need to be capable to generate favorable matchups. 

Chicago will probably be with out D’Onta Foreman for this sport, which implies we should always see a break up between Khalil Herbert and rookie Roschon Johnson within the backfield. Herbert (4.6 yards per carry) and Johnson (4.5) have every run pretty nicely thus far this season, nevertheless it’s notable that Foreman has the best dashing success price of the trio regardless of having performed the least period of time alongside Fields. Minnesota has been a “bend however do not break” form of run protection, getting beat on the line of scrimmage however limiting chunk features with tackling within the open discipline. Neither again appears more likely to rip off a long term, however Fields’ capability to erase tackling angles may result in some large features.

When the Vikings have the ball

He is but to be formally dominated out, nevertheless it sounds just like the Vikings will once more be with out star broad receiver Justin Jefferson for this one, because the group will let him relaxation up via the Week 13 bye earlier than returning for the stretch run. In his absence, Josh Dobbs has largely locked in on T.J. Hockenson as his go-to pass-catcher, with Hockenson racking up 22 receptions for 258 yards and a rating over the previous three weeks.

Chicago’s move protection has left a lot to be desired all through this season, with the group permitting opponents to finish 68.4% of passes at a median of seven.0 yards per try with 22 touchdowns towards simply 9 interceptions, however the Bears have carried out nicely towards opposing tight ends. They rank third within the NFL in DVOA on throws to the place, which is maybe unsurprising given their twin signings of Tremaine Edmunds and T.J. Edwards this previous offseason.

It is simpler to beat the Chicago protection on the perimeter, which may push Dobbs into throwing extra typically to Jordan Addison and Okay.J. Osborn. After going off in Jefferson’s absence whereas Kirk Cousins was nonetheless wholesome, Addison has a mere 12 receptions for 165 scoreless yards since Dobbs took over beneath middle. This sport ought to present a possibility for him to get again on observe. 

Rookie cornerback Tyrique Stevenson has been a preferred goal for opposing defenses, with solely two corners within the NFL being thrown at extra typically thus far this season, per Professional Soccer Focus. Stevenson has allowed a league-high seven touchdowns in protection, however he is additionally been higher of late and is coming off arguably his finest sport of the season final week towards the Lions.

Nonetheless they select to assault via the air, it definitely looks like that is how the Vikings should transfer the ball on this matchup. Their run sport has been a catastrophe all season, and the Bears have really emerged as among the best rush defenses within the league. They test in eleventh in DVOA towards the run, and have been even higher since getting more healthy on that facet of the ball. Alexander Mattison and Ty Chandler ran nicely final week towards the Broncos, however that is commonplace for Broncos opponents. In any other case this season, the bottom sport has been principally inept and it appears unlikely that it’s going to immediately bounce again right here.

Prediction: Vikings 24, Bears 20

In the event you’re questioning who all of our consultants are selecting for the sport, listed here are their predictions under. And do your self a favor and take a look at SportsLine stats geek R.J. White’s breakdown of this matchup — R.J.’s 58-34-4 (+2076) in his final 96 ATS picks involving Minnesota and has cashed twice within the prestigious Westgate SuperContest — proper right here.


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