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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

Prediction: MIN 10, CHI 17

The Vikings defense has kept the team in every game this year and their offense has kept it out of the win column since the opener against the Falcons. The Bears finally turned around their fortunes by taking down the then-unbeaten Packers in Green Bay and the change in quarterback seems to be helping... Go figure...

The Bears swept the Vikings last year, winning 19-16 as a visitor and then 23-13 in Chicago.

Update: Bernard Berrian has not practiced this week because of his bad toe and looks unlikely to play this week. I am not adding him into the projections.

Minnesota Vikings (1-3)
Homefield: Metrodome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 ATL 24-3 -3 36
2 @DET 17-20 +3 42.5
3 @KC 10-13 +3 33.5
4 GB 16-23 +1 38
5 BYE - - -
6 @CHI   +5.5 37
7 @DAL 21-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
8 PHI 28-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
9 SD 4-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
10 @GB 11-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
11 OAK 18-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
12 @NYG 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 DET 2-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
14 @SF 9-Dec SUN 4:05 PM
15 CHI 17-Dec MON 8:30 PM
16 WAS 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 @DEN 30-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
MIN at CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Tarvaris Jackson 20   140
RB Chester Taylor 30 10  
RB Adrian Peterson 60,1 20  
TE Visanthe Shiancoe   10  
WR Troy Williamson   20  
WR Bobby Wade   30  
WR Sidney Rice   30  
PK Ryan Longwell 1 FG 1 XP  
Pregame Notes: Another season, another "where is the offense, Mr. Childress?" The Vikings have only averaged 14 points per game in the last three weeks and come off their bye with a rather challenging schedule - at Chicago and at Dallas in the next two weeks. A loss this week dooms the chances for the playoffs that would be inevitable eventually anyway. The Vikings must find some offensive spark aside from Arian Peterson and yet have done nothing to make it happen with new personnel. This week just means the Vikes are rested before they lose.

Quarterback: Evidently Kelly Holcomb's 258 yards and one touchdown was not enough to sway the Vikings from turning back to Tarvaris Jackson this week. Jackson played in two games before injuring his groin and had one score and five interceptions to show for the effort. Jackson also threw for about 165 yards in each game despite playing against the Falcons and Lions. Jackson's back but the passing game is still likely to remain MIA.

Running Backs: As productive as Adrian Peterson has been - three games over 100 rushing yards - it's a wonder why they don't just feed him the ball 25 to 30 times every week. Peterson had also been effective as a pass receiver but in week four Chester Taylor returned to take eight carries for 40 yards while Peterson was limited to just 12 (and yet gained 112 yards). But with Taylor back, Peterson was given one catch for six yards after never having less than 48 yards in the first three games. Holcomb and Peterson make this offense click. The Vikes want to believe that Jackson and Taylor matter more.

Wide Receivers: Sidney Rice finally had a good game in week four when he caught six passes for 75 yards and one touchdown - all from Holcomb. Bobby Wade had 83 yards - all from Holcomb. With Jackson under center, Rice topped out at 21 yards and Wade managed just 34 yards. It won't get any better in Chicago this week. On the plus side, Troy Williamson gets around 20 yards each week no matter who is throwing the balls.

Tight Ends: Vishante Shiancoe had seven catches for 89 yards with Holcomb as the starter. He had two catches for 18 yards with Jackson. Welcome back, Tarvaris!

Match Against the Defense: Let's not waste any time here. Unless Holcomb is named the starter (and he won't) there is no fantasy value in any Vikings receiver anyway and even less on the road in Chicago. This game is all about what Peterson can do and how much Taylor takes away from him. I like Peterson for only moderate yardage but he could score once against a Bears rush defense that has allowed four scores. It just seems highly unlikely any one else on this team can score besides the rookie runner.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 29 8 31 24 25 1
Preventing Fantasy Points CHI 18 25 16 26 11 31


Chicago Bears (2-3)
Homefield: Soldier Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @SD 3-14 +5.5 42.5
2 KC 20-10 -12 34.5
3 DAL 10-34 -3 41
4 @DET 27-37 -2.5 46
5 @GB 27-20 +3 41
6 MIN   -5.5 37
7 @PHI 21-Oct SUN 4:15 PM
8 DET 28-Oct SUN 1:00 PM
9 BYE - - -
10 @OAK 11-Nov SUN 4:15 PM
11 @SEA 18-Nov SUN 8:15 PM
12 DEN 25-Nov SUN 1:00 PM
13 NYG 2-Dec SUN 4:15 PM
14 @WAS 6-Dec THU 8:15 PM
15 @MIN 17-Dec MON 8:30 PM
16 GB 23-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
17 NO 30-Dec SUN 1:00 PM
CHI vs MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Brian Griese     220,2
RB Cedric Benson 50 10  
TE Greg Olsen   40,1  
TE Desmond Clark   50  
WR Mark Bradley   20  
WR Muhsin Muhammad   50,1  
WR Rashied Davis   30  
PK Robbie Gould 1 FG 2 XP  

Pregame Notes: Big difference between using Grossman and Griese with the Bears scoring 27 points in each of the last two games after only producing 33 points over the first three games. The win over the Packers could save the season but there's several tough games looming in the future. The Bears could easily be 4-4 by their bye week which could still keep at least a wild card bid within their reach.

Quarterback: What a difference a new quarterback makes. Aside from actually winning a game, the Bears have thrown for two scores in both the starts by Brian Griese after only totaling one touchdown in the three games started by Grossman who never had more than 195 passing yards. So far Griese has turned in no less than 214 yards and that was in a win. Both quarterbacks are getting sacked three or four times per game and both average around two interceptions, but at least Griese scores and gets the yards as well.

Grossman was the starter last year in both meetings with the Vikings and only had 34 passing yards with three interceptions against the Vikings. Small wonder he is no longer the starter.

Running Backs: Though Cedric Benson has only had one game over 64 rushing yards and he is only averaging a tad over three yards per carry, at least Benson has scored in two of the last three games. With minimal interference by Adrian Peterson or Garrett Wolfe, Benson is getting what there is to get - it just has not been much this year with that blocking.

Benson scored once and gained 60 yards on nine carries against the Vikes last year while Thomas Jones chipped in just 32 yards on 12 carries in that game.

Wide Receivers: Even with Griese as the starter, this unit has only turned in one touchdown this year and that came from Muhsin Muhammad in week four in Detroit. Now Bernard Berrian has an injured toe and may not play this week. I am projecting for him to miss the game on Sunday and will update if warranted. There still is not fantasy value here outside of Berrian.

Tight Ends: This is where all the action has gone with Griese playing. Desmond Clark has scored in each of the games with Griese as the starter and had 106 yards over those two weeks. Greg Olsen scored his first NFL touchdown last week in Green Bay with an impressive catch and ended with 57 yards on four catches. The tight ends are providing the production in this passing attack and it is working.

Match Against the Defense: The Vikings rushing defense has been outstanding this year and they deserve their #1 rankings. No rushing scores allowed and no runner has turned in more than 55 yards. Expect more mediocrity from Benson this week.

The Vikings weakness is against the pass and Griese will exploit that using the wideouts and tight ends this week. Look for two scores here that are split between the tight ends and wideouts.

Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 28 27 30 7 16 4
Preventing Fantasy Points MIN 25 1 27 24 20 17

The Huddle
~ 2007 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday night
On Bye

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