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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Minnesota Vikings
(Photo by David Berding/Getty Images) Kirk Cousins /

Minnesota will rest their starters by the end of the first quarter

Kevin O’Connell has indicated that the starters will play in Sunday’s season finale, but it’s safe to bet that’s for a competitive advantage. It doesn’t make sense for the Vikings to play everyone in their final game of the season, and there are several reasons why they should place their stars in bubble wrap.

The first reason is the turf at Soldier Field. The poorly-maintained surface either has the consistency of shredded wheat in a glass of milk or concrete, and the forecast in Chicago (35 degrees and sunny) dictates it will probably be the latter.

The other is the current state of O’Connell’s roster. The Vikings have already been mixing in their reserves to spell Jordan Hicks, Harrison Smith, and Za’Darius Smith over the last several weeks. Suddenly, having them play 100 percent of the snaps in a meaningless Week 18 matchup could leave them further depleted going into the Wild Card round.

With the Vikings’ playoff position likely sealed up, it’s better to rest their starters and prepare for their next opponent.