4 bold predictions for Bears vs. Vikings

The regular season finale is upon us and the Chicago Bears will take the field one final time as they face the playoff-bound Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field. This might feel more like a preseason game for Chicago, however. The Bears (3-13) are losers of nine straight and are simply playing for a draft pick at this point. They will be without a few key offensive starters, namely quarterback Justin Fields, who was ruled out with a hip injury. That means Nathan Peterman will make his first start as a Bear this weekend.

For the Vikings (12-4), it’s unclear how much playing time they will give their starters. They’ve already locked up a spot in the playoffs in the wild card round and would only be playing for seeding. Still, they could be looking for a convincing win after they were shellacked by the Green Bay Packers last week.

With so many unknowns, it’s the perfect opportunity to make some bold predictions.

1. Nathan Peterman throws for a career high in passing yards

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS – DECEMBER 18: Nathan Peterman #14 of the Chicago Bears throws the ball during the second half in the game against the Philadelphia Eagles at Soldier Field on December 18, 2022 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

Wouldn’t it be the most Bears thing ever to have offensive coordinator dial up 30+ passes for the backup quarterback? That’s what I’m predicting and it will lead to the most passing yards in a single game for Peterman. Granted, he only needs to break 188 yards for the achievement but that’s been difficult for Bears quarterbacks this season.

After last week’s debacle, Getsy will want to get the pass catchers going, even if Fields isn’t the one throwing the ball. Plus, a heavy dose of Peterman would likely enrage Bears fans everywhere so the prediction makes way too much sense not to happen.

2. Chase Claypool catches 6+ passes

Nov 27, 2022; East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Chase Claypool (10) runs with the ball against the New York Jets during the first half at MetLife Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

As the saying goes, the squeaky wheel gets the oil. Claypool was demonstrative with his frustrations during last week’s 41-10 loss to the Detroit Lions, throwing his helmet on the sidelines and yelling after a failed offensive series. Though Claypool was upset more with the lack of pride the team was showing and not targets, it still puts everyone on notice.

Claypool hasn’t come close to being the player the Bears traded for at the beginning of November and has been a nonfactor in most of the games he’s played. With one more game this season, Getsy and Peterman will likely look to involve him more than usual to send him into the offseason on a high note.

3. The Bears record their first safety of the season

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA – OCTOBER 09: Alexander Mattison #2 of the Minnesota Vikings is wrapped up by Justin Jones #93 of the Chicago Bears during the second half at U.S. Bank Stadium on October 09, 2022 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images)

Admittedly, this is wishful thinking more than anything but it’s for a good reason. The Bears are in danger of snapping their streak of scoring at least one safety a season since 2016. Their last one came around this time last year in Week 17 against the New York Giants.

While a safety is usually unlikely, especially for this defense, it’s very possible regardless of who plays for the Vikings. Aside from a couple big runs, Dalvin Cook has been bottled up quite a bit as of late. The Vikings quarterbacks also aren’t terribly mobile if the pass rush got through on a possession that was deep near their endzone. Somehow, a safety will happen again on Sunday to keep the streak alive.

4. Bears get the No. 1 overall pick

Sep 18, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Houston Texans head coach Lovie Smith during the fourth quarter against the Denver Broncos at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The Bears are likely going to lose against the Vikings, which wouldn’t be terribly surprising. What would be more of a surprise, however, is the Houston Texans managing a victory over the Indianapolis Colts. Head coach Lovie Smith is known for playing games competitively at the end of the season, regardless of the team’s record. He’s already come out and said he’s trying to win on Sunday and with his job potentially on the line, why not go out a winner?

Should the Texans win and the Bears lose, Chicago will hold the rights to the top overall selection in the 2023 NFL Draft. Lovie Smith will come through for his old team one more time by defeating a lifeless Colts team.

Story originally appeared on Bears Wire