Vikings vs. Bears: Week 18 staff preview and predictions

Ladies and gentlemen, we did it. We made it through another Minnesota Vikings regular season.

This one was unlike any other, as the Vikings currently sit at 12-4 but haven’t wowed anyone. In fact, they have quite a few analysts calling them frauds. I don’t think that’s a fair characterization of this team.

The 2022 Vikings have been quite a ride this year and it’s about to get real, but first they travel to Chicago to take on the Bears. Here is how our staff and Bears Wire managing editor Alyssa Barbieri predict the game on Sunday.

Tyler Forness-Vikings Wire Managing Editor

Nov 30, 2008; Minneapolis, MN, USA: Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Bernard Berrian (87) runs past Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman (33) for a 99-yard pass reception for touchdown in the second quarter at the Metrodome. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 12-4

We haven’t gotten word as to how the Vikings will approach this game. How much will the starters play, especially Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson. I would think that with the two seed still in play, we will see the starters play but also rotate in backups to get some reps and rest up your star players, something that the Vikings haven’t done a lot this season. I think the Vikings will stymie Nathan Peterman and find a way to have their second one-score victory of the season.

Prediction: Vikings 27, Bears 16

Judd Zulgad-Vikings Wire Columnist

Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) celebrates a first down against the Chicago Bears in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 11-4

The Vikings will get their 13th win against a Bears team that values draft position much more than victories.

Prediction: Vikings 28, Bears 14

Matt Anderson-Vikings Wire Contributor

Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver K.J. Osborn (17) and the team leave the field after a turnover against the Chicago Bears near the end of the game at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 1-0

The Vikings and Bears both feel like they’re playing for something. If you asked the rest of the league, they’d say this game is pointless. The Vikings have a slim chance at the number-two seed in the NFC with a win combined with a San Francisco 49ers loss. Meanwhile, the Bears are competing for the first overall pick in this year’s upcoming NFL Draft. I expect the vibe of this game to feel very preseason-esque. Nathan Peterman is getting the start for the Bears with Justin Fields out. While the Vikings are attempting to patch their offensive line together as they prepare for the playoffs. Things could get weird in this game, but I’d expect the Vikings to get ahead early and pull their starters.

Precdiction: Vikings 30, Bears 19

Kevin Fielder-Vikings Wire Contributor

Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Cameron Dantzler Sr. (3) strips the ball from Chicago Bears wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette (17) during the fourth quarter as safety Harrison Smith (22) gets ready for the tackle at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

Record: 0-0

I struggle to find a way that Nathan Peterman can beat an NFL defense in 2023. The Vikings defense should find pressure, and success, in preventing Nathan Peterman and that offense from getting any momentum to come away with a win. Even if Minnesota doesn’t have all that much to play for, there’s no reason they shouldn’t find enough offensive success to put this game away relatively early.

Prediction: Vikings 27, Bears 17

Alyssa Barbieri-Bears Wire Managing Editor

Oct 9, 2022; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Chicago Bears wide receiver Equanimeous St. Brown (19) runs after the catch against the Minnesota Vikings in the fourth quarter at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

I think this game will get out of hand quickly for the Bears, especially considering how the first half of this first meeting went with a healthy Chicago roster. No Justin Fields? A rash of injuries? Nathan Peterman starting? No chance the Bears pull off the upset.

Prediction: Vikings 35, Bears 10

Story originally appeared on Vikings Wire