Does Soldier Field Matter with These Bears?

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The Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears have identical 1-4 records through the first five weeks of the 2023 NFL season. That seems to be where the similarities end for the two franchises this year. For a team as bad as the Bears, does Minnesota’s ineptitude in Chicago really matter for this matchup?

Does Soldier Field Matter with These Bears?

Kevin O’Connell’s squad is coming in while licking their wounds a bit. Despite playing against the reigning Super Bowl champs at home last week, the Vikings found themselves with ample opportunity to win the game. Instead, Kirk Cousins and the Minnesota offense came up just short while they saw Justin Jefferson go down for the count.

Does Soldier Field Matter
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Heading to Chicago, the Vikings will now be without the services of their superstar wide receiver for the foreseeable future, and backup quarterback Nick Mullens is no longer on the sidelines either. With Cam Akers and Dalton Risner brought in as offensive reinforcements, their presence hasn’t turned the tide in the win column.

As bleak as it looks for Minnesota, though, the Bears have been worse. The defense has been completely inept, allowing the third-most points across the league. Alan Williams left the team under mysterious circumstances, and head coach Matt Eberflus has not gotten off to a good start.

set for Vikings at Bears
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Multiple times, Chicago has seen the scoreboard read lopsided results, and just two weeks ago, they coughed up a 21-point third-quarter lead against an equally terrible Denver Broncos team. The hope was that Justin Fields would take steps forward this season, and his development would push the offense to new heights. It’s been a mixed bag at best, and nothing appears to be changing that soon.

What Chicago does on Sunday may matter less than how the Vikings execute on their own. It should be expected to be Jordan Addison’s coming out party as a featured wideout, and the Vikings defense under Brian Flores best be going after Fields early and often. The playoffs are probably out of the window for Minnesota, but it doesn’t seem like this team is ready to throw in the towel on the year.

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The second season under O’Connell has gone wildly different from the first. Although they have lost plenty of close games this time around, not winning them has been less about luck than discipline. The Vikings must establish themselves early on Sunday, and they should have ample opportunity to gain and hold the upper hand.

Previous years have seen the Bears give Minnesota trouble at Soldier Field, and with the Vikings less than a juggernaut on their own, it’s odd to think that would be different in 2023. The reality is that this Chicago team is a different level of bad, and short of sinking their own ship en route to a higher pick, the Vikings can and should come home victorious on Sunday.

Ted Schwerzler is a blogger from the Twin Cities that is focused on all things Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Vikings. He’s active on Twitter and writes weekly for Twins Daily. As a former college athlete and avid sports fan, covering our pro teams with a passion has always seemed like such a natural outlet.