The Vikings are on the road for a second week in a row, but this time they play a divisional foe.
Minnesota will play a prime-time matchup on Monday Night Football against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field on Halloween night.
The Bears, who started the season 1-6, are a different team than the past few weeks. Chicago is expected to start Jay Cutler at quarterback in his return from a thumb injury in Week 2.
Let’s see who the experts pick to win Week 8’s Monday night matchup.
The *Vikings should win this game, based on the fact they have been knocked out of the top spot of the Power Rankings. Holding the No. 1 place has downed every team I've put there. Little-known fact: Teams batting in the two-hole of the Power Rankings have won six weeks in a row. So trends show that Minnesota should prevail this Monday night in Chicago. The Jay Cutler axiom says the same thing. Boy oh boy, coming back from an injury to face [an angry] Vikings defense can't be fun. At least the game is in Soldier Field. Opposing quarterbacks over the last nine games against Mike Zimmer's defense: 2-7, 56.6 completion percentage, 9:14 TD-to-INT ratio and a 66.7 passer rating. Those numbers are horrific enough for this game to be played on Halloween. Those numbers are as bad as "Jason X," the Friday the 13th with Mr. Voorhees in space. *#MINvsCHI
Vikings 20, Bears 16 *— Elliot Harrison, *NFL.com
With Brian Hoyer out, the Bears seem ready to turn their offense back over to a familiar face.
They should be preparing for Option C, too. *Jay Cutler is healthy enough to return, but Minnesota’s defense won’t take any prisoners off its first loss of 2016.*
Linval Joseph and other big Vikings should shut down the run game with ease. Cutler's throws will determine if Chicago keeps it competitive. I’m not sure that’s ever been its preferred path to success.
A serviceable Cutler still might not be enough. Chicago’s defense is simple — two safeties back, soft zone coverage. *Kyle Rudolph won’t need rock-solid protection to exploit it. I expect a bounce-back performance from the Vikings’ QB1.*
Vikings 22, Bears 13 — Chris Simms, Bleacher Report
*The Vikings are playing consecutive road games, and didn’t look good last week at Philadelphia. The offensive line is a mess. But the Bears have their own issues. They should have Jay Cutler back here, which will help. This will be close, and we could see an upset. *
Bears 20, Vikings 17 — Pete Prisco, CBS Sports
Jay Cutler* is back, and he’s about to get a rude awakening against the Vikings’ defense. This could get ugly.*
*Vikings 20, Bears 3 *— Michael David Smith, Pro Football Talk
The Vikings have a tough five-game stretch coming up; if they stub their toe in Chicago, things could quickly fall apart.
*Vikings 27, Bears 17 *— Mike Florio, Pro Football Talk
Fly the W? I’m sorry. Hard to get too fired up for the Bears with all the great things happening in Chicago for the baseball team this week. Chicago’s football squad has been stung hard by injuries, and though the effort’s been there week in and week out, the results have not. Minnesota has been winning with sound offensive football, limited mistakes on special teams and a punishing defense. The first two facets failed them in Philadelphia last week. They won’t in this one.
*Vikings 20, Bears 14 *— Peter Schrager, FOX Sports
Each Tuesday, WhatIfSports.com's NFL simulation engine generates predictions and box scores for every NFL game for the coming week. The highly sophisticated algorithms simulate every play of every game to produce each team's likelihood to win. Each matchup is simulated 501 times.
Vikings Win Likelihood Percentage: 78.6 percent, Average Score: *Vikings 26.7, Bears 17.0 *— WhatIfSports.com
FiveThirtyEight’s 2015 NFL forecast uses an Elo-based model to calculate each team’s chances of advancing to the playoffs and winning Super Bowl 50. Playoff probabilities are based on 20,000 simulations of the season and will update after each game.
Pre-game win probabilities: *Vikings 75 percent *— FiveThirtyEight.com
*6 of 8 experts pick the Vikings, *CBS Sports
*6 of 6 experts pick the Vikings, *FOX Sports
5 of 5 experts pick the Vikings, USA Today
*9 of 10 experts pick the Vikings, *ESPN