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Predictions & Projections
David Dorey
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The Huddle
~ 2008 ~
Season Ticket
Sunday Late
Update *

Prediction: CHI 20, MIN 27

Update: Marty Booker is questionable to play with his sore knee that kept him out on Wednesday and limited him in practice on Thursday and Friday. He will be a game time decision but likely won't play. He'd be very limited in the best case.

This is the battle for the NFC North title between the two 6-5 teams that are tied for the division lead. The Bears won 48-41 in Chicago during week seven when the Vikings visited but are only 3-3 on the road. The Vikings are 4-1 at home and need this win or else essentially fall two games behind the Bears thanks to the head to head tie breaker.

Chicago Bears (6-5)
Homefield: Soldier Field
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @IND 29-13 +9.5 44
2 @CAR 17-20 +3 37
3 TB 24-27 -3 35.5
4 PHI 24-20 +3 45
5 @DET 34-7 -3.5 44.5
6 @ATL 20-22 -2.5 43.5
7 MIN 48-41 -3 38
8 BYE - - -
9 DET 27-23 -13 43
10 TEN 14-21 +3 38.5
11 @GB 3-37 +3.5 43
12 @STL 27-3 -9 43
13 @MIN - +3 42
14 JAX - - -
15 NO - - -
16 GB - - -
17 @HOU - - -
CHI @ MIN Rush Catch Pass
QB Kyle Orton     260,1
RB Matt Forte 60,1 40  
TE Greg Olsen   20,1  
WR Brandon Lloyd   40  
WR Rashied Davis   60  
WR Devin Hester   70  
PK Robbie Gould 2 FG 2 XP  
Pregame Notes: The Bears are tied with the Vikes so far but the recent wins have not been that impressive considering they were playing the Rams and Lions. Having three games at home will be an advantage in December but these Bears have no margin for error because the odd man out in the NFC North likely won't be good enough for a wildcard.

Quarterback: Kyle Orton has been back for two weeks but only posted one touchdown and not more than 140 passing yards in eight game. Against the Rams he had no reason to since it was a Bears' blowout and against the Packers he couldn't and set off a Packers blowout. The last decent game for Orton was when he passed for 283 yards and two scores against the Vikings in week seven. in the interim he's been injured and only played in three games with just the one score.

Running Backs: Matt Forte has already enjoyed a surprisingly good rookie campaign and now comes off a career best 132 yards on 20 carries in St. Louis with two touchdowns scored. Forte has already racked up six rushing touchdowns and three via receptions. He's become one of the most heavily used receivers out of the backfield in the league. He is only 81 yards away from a 1000 yard season and has finally drawn up to a four yard per carry average. Forte has either scored a touchdown and/or gained 100 total yards in every game since week four.

Forte rushed for 56 yards on 20 carries but scored one touchdown versus the Vikings this year.

Wide Receivers: Although there have been seven touchdowns passed to Chicago wideouts, none have more than two themselves and there have been almost no games where a wideout had more than 60 yards for the Bears. That's not a reliable fantasy wide receiver and case in point is Marty Booker who was was the lead receiver in the previous meeting with the Vikings when he had three catches for 79 yards and one score. He hasn't recorded a catch since week nine.

I will assume he remains out and go with the same starters as last week.

Tight Ends: Just when it seems that Greg Olsen is taking the next step up he draws a blank last week with no catches and it has been five weeks now since a touchdown or even a decent yardage game. Desmond Clark had an unusually productive day last week when he had five receptions for 40 yards and then injured his knee. The knee is expected to be fine and Clark should return to less productive form anyway.

Olsen had six catches for 74 yards and one score against the Vikings. Even Desmond Clark had three catches for 59 yards in that game.

Match Against the Defense: There is not material change to this game from the previous meeting other than the venue which plays in the favor of the Vikings who have not allowed a visiting runner to gain more than 75 yards and only three runners have scored. Since it is likely that Forte has a lower yardage game here, look for him to have his standard touchdown and he could end up with a rather nice game if the Bears will throw it to him much.

Orton goes against a secondary that has been very good at home and allowed only one score per game on average with many teams ending with under 200 passing yards but four times the Vikes allowed 280+ yards which includes these Bears. Look for a nice yardage game here but only the one passing touchdown which favors Clark or Olsen the most.

Gaining Fantasy Points CHI 18 12 28 11 16 6
Preventing Fantasy Points    MIN 11 5 9 26 15 31

Minnesota Vikings (6-5)
Homefield: Metrodome
  Opp Score Spread Over/Under
1 @GB 19-24 +3 38.5
2 IND 15-18 +2 43.5
3 CAR 20-10 -3.5 37
4 @TEN 17-30 +3 36
5 @NO 30-27 +3 47
6 DET 12-10 -13.5 47
7 @CHI 41-48 +3 38
8 BYE - - -
9 HOU 28-21 -4.5 47
10 GB 28-27 -2.5 45.5
11 @TB 13-19 +4 39.5
12 @JAX 30-12 +2.5 40
13 CHI - -3 42
14 @DET - - -
15 @ARZ - - -
16 ATL - - -
17 NYG - - -
MIN vs CHI Rush Catch Pass
QB Gus Frerotte     190,1
RB Chester Taylor 30    
RB Adrian Peterson 120,2 10  
TE Visanthe Shiancoe   40  
WR Bernard Berrian   60,1  
WR Bobby Wade   40  
WR Sidney Rice   20  
PK Ryan Longwell 2 FG 3 XP  

Pregame Notes: Nice win in Jacksonville last week keeps the Vikings competitive in the NFC North and a home win here may be just the thing to claim the title since the next four games could all be wins including the Giants in week 17 who will almost certainly be resting players by then. Having lost a close on to the Bears already this season means that the Vikes have to win here and can.

Quarterback: The Vikings are winning games but they don't always have much to do with Gus Frerotte who has been in decline each week for the last five weeks and now comes off a 120 yard effort in Jacksonville with no scores and one interceptions. Frerotte has 11 touchdowns on the season but also 12 interceptions and he has been sacked 26 times this year. The one stat in his favor is that his three best games all came against divisional rivals including these Bears.

Frerotte passed for 298 yards and two scores in Chicago this year.

Running Backs: Adrian Peterson's 1180 rushing yards trails only Portis for the NFL lead and these last two road games against decent defenses has dropped him down to around 80 yards per week after a month long stretch over 100 rushing yards. Peterson did not start last week or partake in the first two series as a reprimand for being late to a team meeting but he still ended up with 80 yards on 17 carries and one touchdown while Chester Taylor had a surprise good game with a score and nine carries for 25 yards.

Peterson rushed for 121 yards and two scores on just 22 carries in Chicago this season.

Wide Receivers: Bernard Berrian was flying high this year with a four game scoring stretch and never falling below 78 yards for six games but these last three weeks have only served up a total of our catches for 52 yards combined. The decline in passing has been directly felt by Berrian more than anyone since only has had fantasy relevant numbers.

Bobby Wade played Sunday despite a thigh injury but only had one catch in the victory. He is expected to play this week.

Berrian caught six passes for 81 yards and one score against the Bears this year.

Tight Ends: While the receivers all have seen a major decrease in their stats in the last month, at least Visanthe Shiancoe has posted decent yardage for a tight end. He had 60 yards in Jacksonville and 41 yards in Tampa Bay. He remains a viable option for Frerotte but has not scored since week nine.

Shiancoe had four receptions for 68 yards and one touchdown in Chicago.

Match Against the Defense: The Bears rushing defense just gave up 145 yards to Ryan Grant two weeks ago and Peterson already had a big game in Chicago back in week seven. Look for another big game here with two scores as well.

Frerotte needs to reverse this trend he is on and this week should be a good place to start with a defense that has allowed one or two scores to virtually any decent offense that it has faced this year. Look for moderate yardage since Peterson will be running mostly but a passing score to Berrian as a way to get the pass turned back on.

Gaining Fantasy Points MIN 26 8 25 15 10 7
Preventing Fantasy Points    CHI 15 9 29 25 21 10

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