A few weeks ago Minnesota Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer was hanging onto his job like a trailer looking to survive a Tornado.
Now, after back-to-back wins over the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions following their bye week, the Minnesota brass is hoping their coach is in line to recover from a 1 win 5 loss start and lead the Vikings into the playoffs.
In Chicago, this season began with signs that it would erase the disappointment of the 2019 season. The Bears had four straight last place finishes before the 2018 season, one in which they seemed to put it all together with the guidance of first year head coach Matt Nagy. The Bears recovered from multiple last place finishes to win the NFC North Division, and were a field goal away from advancing in the postseason.
Then, that field goal was wide, and the Bears went into hibernation.
They missed the postseason last year and new concerns were raised about the quarterback they chose over Patrick Mahomes in the 2017 NFL draft, Mitch Trubisky.
After a win in Detroit, aided by an unexpected drop of a potential winning touchdown pass for the Lions, Chicago got out of town, 27-23. A home win over the New York Giants in second week action, and a come-from-behind victory over the Atlanta Falcons in the third week gave rise to Chicago fans that this was another team destined for the postseason.
In that win over the Falcons, Nagy made a switch at quarterback when Trubisky connected with an Atlanta defender for a Falcons touchdown. And, on came the one time Super Bowl MVP, Nick Foles, to save the day.
He tossed three touchdowns that counted, two more that were called back, in leading the Bears to a 30-26 road win. He was then named the starter, and Trubisky was relegated to the bench. In his first start, Foles was ineffective in a home loss to the Indianapolis Colts, 19-11. Still, he has remained the starter as the Bears won their next two games, over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers. Even while Chicago has lost their last three contests, to the Los Angeles Rams, New Orleans Saints and Tennessee Titans.
Which brings us to tonight.
You want the team that started hot and has wilted like a daisy without water? Do you want the team that started cold and now brings to Soldier Field a two game winning streak?
The public and wise guys are on the same side tonight. That is why Chicago opened as a one point favorite and is currently a 3½ point home underdog.
Are the Vikings that easy?
Well, here is a stat that works to Minnesota’s advantage; they are two games behind Chicago in the win column, one back in the loss column in the NFC North Division standings. What that means is that if the Bears were to win tonight they would extend their lead in the division against a team that is playing better than them right now.
So, take the Vikings and lay the number?
The Bears are a home underdog against a division opponent that they beat twice last season with the better defense getting an expanding point spread.
I wouldn’t bet into that storm of factors any more than I’d bet on the trailer park home withstanding the wrath of a Tornado.
In a game like this, we must remember the wise guys started betting on the Vikings when they were underdogs, but the public has continued to gravitate to Minnesota even while the point spread shift should throw up a high degree of caution.
High enough for me to begin work on Week 11 and close the books on Week 10 without a Monday night pick.