The 6-5 Chicago Bears travel to Minnesota today to take on the 2-8-1 Vikings in a game that could vault them into sole possession of first place in the NFC North. Going into today’s 1:00pm EST / 10am PST game, the Bears are tied with the Detroit Lions for first place in spite of a 6-5 record that would seem to indicate otherwise. A road victory at Mall of America Field, though, could significantly bolster the Bears’ playoff hopes and be icing on a cake that already includes one victory over the Vikings this season (in Week 2). If the live broadcast on FOX eludes you, you can watch Bears vs Vikings online free live streaming using one of several different methods.
The last time the Bears played the Vikings and earned a win, Jay Cutler was the Bears starting quarterback and was stuffing the stat machine on a weekly basis. In the six weeks before he left the Redskins game with a groin injury, Cutler had gone 167-265 for 1,908 yards and 13 touchdowns. With Cutler now gone until Week 14 with a high ankle sprain, the Bears are starting quarterback Josh McCown, who has succeeded for Chicago not by having a big arm but by playing smart. McCown has learned from quarterbacks including Jon Kitna and Kurt Warner, and he worked closely with Bears coach Marc Trestman when the team installed their new offense. With a quick release, strong anticipation skills and an almost complete avoidance of risky throws into coverage, McCown has helped the Bears do more than just tread water in Cutler’s absence.
McCown has also avoided doing all the heavy lifting himself, as he’s relied more than Cutler might on his teammates on offense. For instance, running back Matt Forte has 851 yards on the ground and is averaging 4.5 yards per carry, while wide receivers Brandon Marshall (945 yards) and Alshon Jeffery (860 yards) are both averaging more than 12.8 yards per reception. With the Vikings so depleted in the secondary, Bears QB McCown could have a big day today.
Yet so could Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, and having the former MVP unload on the Bears could have a larger impact on the outcome than anything McCown can muster against the Vikings. The Bears have had difficulties stopping the run this season, and against the Rams managed to allow 8.9 yards per carry and gave up a staggering 109 yards to Benny Cunningham. Part of the issue has been an inconsistent front four (the Bears have used nine different combinations), part has been season-ending injuries to defensive tackles Henry Melton and Nate Collins, and part has been the inconsistent play of Julius Peppers. Those facets will all play out as you watch Bears vs Vikings online free today, and Peterson will surely exploit each one. Last Sunday against Green Bay, Peterson rushed for a season-high 32 carries and ground out a season-high 146 yards, a yeoman’s effort considering he’s still dealing with a groin injury. Peterson also has Toby Gerhart as a backup, who ran for 91 yards against the Packers and could potentially find ways to exploit the Bears’ porous run defense.
Interestingly, the Bears’ rushing defense is allowing a league-worst 145.2 yards per game, and they gave up 258 rushing yards in last week’s 42-21 loss at St. Louis. That poor defensive performance marked the most yards the Bears had given up since October 14, 2007 — when a Vikings rookie running back named Adrian Peterson ran for 224 of Minnesota’s 311 yards on the ground. Minnesota won that game, and you’d better believe the history isn’t lost on either team, even as ESPN experts predict the Bears to win today’s game in Minnesota.
You can watch Bears vs Vikings online free on DirecTV’s website if you have the NFL Sunday Ticket with MAX Package. The package requires a subscription, but anyone who has one can watch the live streaming version free of any game, including today’s 1:00pm EST / 10:00am PST NFL game between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings.