5 Bold Predictions: Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears – Week 18

(Photo by Kayla Wolf/Getty Images) Nick Mullens
(Photo by Kayla Wolf/Getty Images) Nick Mullens /
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Will the Minnesota Vikings go for the second seed or rest for the playoffs when they take on the Chicago Bears in Week 18?

The Minnesota Vikings face more than just the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon. When the Vikings hit the field, they’ll have to decide between chasing the second seed in the NFC or resting their starters for the playoffs.

The decision got tougher after last week’s loss to the Green Bay Packers. The Vikings were in control of their destiny for the second seed, but a 41-17 loss dropped them behind the San Francisco 49ers. To make matters worse, Austin Schlottman and Brian O’Neill suffered season-ending injuries, depleting the offensive line and leaving a playoff run in doubt.

With the 49ers hosting a shorthanded Arizona Cardinals team, the odds of gaining the second seed – and the second home playoff game that would come with it – are slim. But it could be the difference between the Vikings traveling to Santa Clara or hosting the Niners at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Meanwhile, the Bears have less to play for. Chicago is trudging through the first year of Ryan Poles’ rebuild plan, and it’s led them to a 3-13 record. The good news is that a loss to the Vikings paired with a Houston Texans win over the Indianapolis Colts will get them the No. 1 overall pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. The bad news is that it could make for an uninspiring game.

The Bears have already announced that Nathan Peterman will start in place of Justin Fields, and although Kevin O’Connell has said that the Vikings will play their starters, it remains to be seen how long O’Connell will risk their health for an improbable bid at the second seed.

It makes for an unpredictable matchup, but we’ll give you five bold predictions to see what you can expect in Chicago.