5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears – Week 5
By Chris Schad
Minnesota will pressure Justin Fields on at least 50 percent of his dropbacks
One of the most disappointing aspects of the Vikings’ start has been their pass rush. Za’Darius Smith has been as advertised with a team-high three sacks in the first four games, but Danielle Hunter hasn’t made as big of an impact. Dalvin Tomlinson is second on the team with two sacks, but the Vikings will need to figure out how to generate more pressure if they want to keep winning games.
That’s where the Bears come in. Chicago ranks last in the NFL with 67 pass attempts this season but when they’ve dropped back, their offensive line has allowed plenty of pressure.
According to Pro Football Focus, Justin Fields has been pressured on 49 percent of his dropbacks this season – the fifth-highest rate among quarterbacks with at least 20 percent of the league lead in snaps. Even worse, Fields has been brutal under pressure with a 27.4 passer rating that’s the fifth-lowest against qualifying quarterbacks.
Even if Smith doesn’t play on Sunday with a quad injury, the Vikings should have no problem terrorizing Fields. It could be the game where Hunter gets back on track, D.J. Wonnum and Patrick Jones II have big roles and Minnesota’s defense makes some impact plays to jump out to a big cushion.