In: NFL Free Picks20 Dec 2010
The Chicago Bears will face the Minnesota Vikings tonight on the University of Minnesota’s football field, despite numerous players publicly claiming the field is such rough condition it could result in injuries.
The Bears are 8-point favorites, as they try to erase last week’s embarrassing performance against the New England Patriots and focus on winning the NFC North.
The Vikings will be led into battle by rookie quarterback Joe Webb who is stepping in for the injured Brett Favre and Tarvaris Jackson. The Bears have one of the league’s best run defenses, and not surprisingly, they hit harder than most. If the field is frozen solid, as some players fear, the Bears defense gets the psychological advantage due to the potential for brutality.
Expect the Vikings to rely heavily on Adrian Peterson to take the load off of Webb in his first NFL start. Unlike in years past, Peterson has held onto the football this season. To date, he has yet to fumble the ball this season. In years past, this was an issue for Peterson. He had 15 fumbles over the two previous seasons. Considering he’s likely to have a heavy workload tonight, in extreme weather conditions, we’ll see if he can keep his good-hands streak alive. The Bears have forced 17 fumbles and 16 interceptions this season.
Mike Martz’ offense in Chicago has drawn criticism from the onset of the season. The Bears simply haven’t produced points at the level expected by fans and ownership. However, the two games leading up the egg the Bears laid against the Patriots, things appeared as though they may be changing for the better. In games against Philadelphia and Detroit the Bears looked good.
Look for the Bears to get back on track tonight and to keep their playoff hopes alive with a win over the Vikings. The Bears defense, combined with the weather conditions and the Vikings’ quarterback situation, should spell an 8-point cover for the Bears as well.
Pick: Take the Chicago Bears (-8)