Greg Joseph came up clutch in Week Four against the New Orleans Saints in London sending the Minnesota Vikings to a 3-1 record. Here is what the Vikings are going to have to do in Week Five to continue their momentum against the Chicago Bears and improve to 4-1.
1. Defensive Line Has a Day
To this point in the season the defensive line has struggled to get pressure at times and we have not seen the flashes we may have expected from Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith. The Chicago Bears’ offensive line has been awful and Justin Fields has been susceptible to taking a lot of sacks. The Vikings defensive line should be able to take advantage of this weakness and have their best day of the year to this point. Not only is the defensive line going to have to generate good pass rush, but stopping the run game should be key for success. Khalil Herbert has been a good replacement for David Montgomery so stopping him should be a focus.
2. No Free Points
The Bears’ offense has struggled to put up points for most of the year so far so the Vikings need to try to avoid giving them any help. Obviously it would be ideal to never turn the ball over on offense, but that is not necessarily realistic. More realistically, the Vikings’ offense should simply look to not turn the ball over in a situation that will lead to easy points for the Bears. The defense should be able to hold up just fine, so the last thing they need is the offense giving the Bears great field position because of a bad turnover.
3. Run With the Hot Hand on Offense
Justin Jefferson found a lot of success last week against a talented Saints secondary so it should be safe to assume that he should be able to torch the much weaker Bears secondary. If for whatever reason that isn’t the case, however, the Vikings should rely heavily on Dalvin Cook in the run game. It seems unlikely that the Bears will be able to stop both Jefferson and Cook, so whoever is able to get going should be who the Vikings rely on. If the Bears then decide to key on whoever gets hot, the other will be able to find success.
Prediction: The Vikings’ offense finds success early and often and Justin Fields continues to struggle.
Vikings 34, Bears 13