Hoping to snap a five-game road losing streak to their NFC North rival, the Minnesota Vikings take on the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field in Week Two.
It is the second straight roadie to start the season for the Vikings, who dropped a 34-24 loss to the Detroit Lions despite running back Adrian Peterson sprinting off a 78-yard touchdown on his first carry of the season.
Accounting for all three of Minnesota’s touchdowns, Peterson finished the game with 93 yards on 18 attempts, but the Vikings were plagued by four turnovers including three interceptions from quarterback Christian Ponder. The third-year starter went 18-for-28 for 236 yards and a touchdown, but it was his third career game with at least three picks, and second against Detroit.
Vikings receiver Jerome Simpson totaled 140 yards on seven catches, but the team went 2-for-10 on third down and Detroit held a 13 minute possession advantage. The Minnesota secondary didn’t show much improvement from last season’s 24th ranked crew, letting up 357 passing yards that included a 77-yard reception from running back Reggie Bush.
Chicago and Jay Cutler began their season on far more positive note, with a comeback 24-21 victory over favored Cincinnati. All-Pro Charles Tillman continued his stellar play from last year with two interceptions as the Bears forced three total turnovers, and Brandon Marshall caught a 19-yard touchdown pass from Cutler for the lead with eight minutes left, capping a 14-point swing.
Marshall, injured and questionable throughout the preseason, hauled in eight catches for 104 yards, and tight end Martellus Bennett had three receptions for 49 yards and a score.
Chicago did struggle in the rushing game, with 81 total rushing yards and 50 of those coming from Matt Forte.
The Bears also came away virtually unscathed by injury. Defensive end Julius Peppers was upgraded from questionable to probable on Friday, and the same for Tillman.
The game begins at 1 p.m. ET and will be broadcast by FOX or watch a live online stream by purchasing NFL Game Access here.
Betting Odds: Chicago is favored by 6 points.
Over/Under: 42 points
Prediction: Chicago 30, Minnesota 17