Thursday, December 14, 2017

Jordan Howard

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Image courtesy of Vikings.com

Week 5: Vikings and Bears – Three Reasons For Optimism

By all accounts, last week was a tough one. Outside of the Vikings’ sobering loss to the Detroit Lions, we witnessed the gut-wrenching event in Las Vegas and the death of music legend Tom Petty. Like much of the country, Vikings fans are in mourning, once again attempting to move forward after a crippling turn of events.

Dalvin Cook, the team’s most electric rookie running back since Adrian Peterson, is done for the year after tearing his ACL. Cook is undoubtedly the team’s best back, and his loss has left many Vikings fans pondering if the team can even compete without him in the lineup.

For whatever reason, it seems the football gods keep creating reasons for the Vikings and their fan base to give up hope. Yet, despite the all-too-familiar news for Minnesota’s football team, there are multiple reasons why the franchise can’t, and won’t, back down.

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image courtesy of Vikings.com

According to My Bookie, the Minnesota Vikings are 3.5-point favorites for Monday night’s matchup with the Chicago Bears. If you prefer straight-up gambling, Minnesota is -190 favorites against Chicago (+160).

Minnesota is one of the toughest teams to predict through four games, as mentioned in last week’s Odds and Ends. The Vikings have put together two brilliant performances at home against mediocre NFC South opponents and two clunkers, one on the road against an AFC Championship team from a year ago and another at home against a division rival.

Chicago enters Monday night with one impressive win, coming a couple of weeks ago at home against Pittsburgh. Otherwise, the 1-3 Bears have performed at the level most rebuilding teams would perform.

Both teams appear to be starting different quarterbacks than they did in their previous games. Sam Bradford is “expected” to make his first start since Week 1 Monday night, according to ESPN. Additionally, the Bears announced that rookie Mitch Trubisky will make his first career start.

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About the Labor: A Minnesota Vikings Podcast — Episode 34

Logo designed by Steve Danielson

BJ Reidell and Drew Mahowald (NFCN Barroom) break down the Minnesota Vikings’ second matchup with the Chicago Bears and final game of the 2016 season on Episode 34 of the About the Labor Podcast.

PRIMARY TALKING POINTS

  • Running back Jordan Howard’s quietly outstanding rookie season while playing in the shadow of Dallas Cowboys rookie rusher Ezekiel Elliott
  • Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio’s nearly complete 34 defense
  • Potential for the Vikings to do something they haven’t achieved since 2009
  • Discussion on the “Terence Newman situation”
  • Some forward-thinking following what has been a disastrous year for Minnesota

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