Bears vs. Vikings game picks: Will Chicago get back in the win column in Week 5?

Will Chicago get back in the win column against the Vikings in Week 5? Our Bears Wire staff shares their game picks for Sunday’s matchup.

The Chicago Bears (2-2) will battle the Minnesota Vikings (3-1) on Sunday, where they’ll be looking to get back in the win column in Week 5.

Following Sunday’s loss to the New York Giants (3-1), the Bears still have concerns with their offense after going 0-for-3 in the red zone. Also, Chicago’s defense will have to contend with one of the league’s best wideouts in Justin Jefferson, and their last-ranked run defense will look to get back on track against Dalvin Cook.

Will Chicago get back in the win column against the Vikings in Week 5? Our Bears Wire staff shares their game picks for Sunday’s matchup.

5 Bold predictions for Bears’ Week 5 divisional game vs. Vikings

From a heavy dose of the running game to a strong rebound from Velus Jones Jr., here are our bold predictions for Bears vs. Vikings.

The Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings renew their divisional rivalry this weekend in Minneapolis. The Bears are coming off a dismal 20-12 loss against the New York Giants that dropped them to .500 and are looking for an offensive breakout to try and avoid having a losing record for the first time this season. The Vikings, meanwhile, are tied for the division lead at 3-1 and are coming off a nail-biting victory over the New Orleans Saints in London just one week ago. They will try and be rested enough to secure the win and keep their lead alive.

It’s going to be a tough game for the Bears but we’ve seen weird things happen in this series over the years that could turn the tide quickly. Here are our bold predictions ahead of Bears and Vikings.

Podcast: Bears OC Luke Getsy’s play calling is rightfully coming under fire

In the latest episode of our Bears Wire podcast, we discuss the criticism surrounding Luke Getsy’s play calling and preview Week 5.

Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy has come under fire this week for his conservative approach in calling plays. And rightfully so. Just look at Chicago’s inability to score touchdowns on all three red-zone opportunities in last week’s loss to the Giants.

The Bears offense is among the worst in the NFL, and the only reason it’s not the worst is because of their third-ranked run game. The passing game is the worst in the league, and it’s not even close. So it’s not really shocking that Getsy has leaned more on the run game early this season.

But let’s make thing one thing clear: It’s not all on Getsy. This is a group effort all around — coordinator, quarterback, offensive line, receivers, etc. But it’s also fair to criticize the first-time play caller for his conservative approach, especially in the red zone.

As the Bears gear up for a Week 5 game against the Vikings, host Ryan O’Leary (@RyanO_Leary) and myself (@AlyssaBarbieri) discuss the criticism surrounding Getsy’s play calling, Fields’ development, and preview the matchup against Minnesota.

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Bear Necessities: Chicago’s run defense searching for answers vs. Vikings

The Vikings’ run game has been so-so. Fortunately for them, they’ll face the Bears’ last-place run defense. Will Chicago have answers?

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The Bears defense faces a tall order this Sunday against the Vikings. Minnesota has some big name receivers in Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen that Chicago must contend with. And it won’t be easy if top cornerback Jaylon Johnson (quad) can’t go in Week 5.

But it’s one of Minnesota’s offensive weaknesses that could become a strength on Sunday.

The Vikings run game has been decent this season, but they’re only averaging 98 yards per game. Fortunately for them, they’ll face a Bears run defense allowing an average 183.3 rushing yards per game, which is the worst in the NFL.

“It’s technique,” said head coach Matt Eberflus, via the Sun-Times. “It’s tough. The NFL’s tough now. If you show something [that’s vulnerable], they’re going to keep attacking it. So you gotta make sure that you shore those things up.”

So not only does Chicago’s defense have to contend with Minnesota’s high-powered passing game, featuring fifth-leading receiver Justin Jefferson, but they have to deal with running back Dalvin Cook.

“I’m shaking my head,” said defensive coordinator Alan Williams about trying to contain both Jefferson and Cook. “We’re gonna have our plate full.”

Cook has yet to eclipse 100 rushing yards in a game this season. But facing the league’s worst run defense, that’s something that could most definitely change in Week 5.

“I’m sure they won’t stop running the ball,” Bears defensive end Robert Quinn said, via the Sun-Times. “If we don’t slow him down, it sets up the play-action and all that other stuff. You want to stop the run, and that should make everything a little easier.

“It sets up everything else [for an offense] if you can’t stop the run. Then it’s kinda, to be honest, demoralizing.”

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Bears Week 5 injury report: Jaylon Johnson DNP, David Montgomery limited Thursday

The Bears released their second injury report ahead of Sunday’s game against the Vikings, where it’s not looking good for Jaylon Johnson.

The Chicago Bears (2-2) released their second injury report ahead of Sunday’s Week 5 game against the Minnesota Vikings (3-1), where it’s not looking good for one key defensive starter.

Heading into this Week 5 matchup against the Vikings, the Bears could really use cornerback Jaylon Johnson back. Unfortunately, he remains sidelined as he continues to deal with a quad injury. But there was some good news as running back David Montgomery returned to practice.

Here’s a look at the full injury report from Thursday’s practice:

3 causes for concern as the Bears face the Vikings in Week 5

As the Bears prepare for their Week 5 game against the Vikings, here are some reasons to be concerned.

After a tough loss to the New York Giants, the Chicago Bears (2-2) are heading to Minnesota to take on the NFC Division-leading Vikings (3-1) in Week 5.

The Vikings will provide the toughest challenge for the Bears’ secondary this week. Minnesota runs a pass-heavy offense and will throw the ball often on Sunday.

On offense, the passing issues for the Bears continue to linger, and fans are questioning the speed of Justin Fields’ development. In addition, Chicago struggled to continue their dominance on the ground without David Montgomery (ankle) and will likely be without him in Minnesota.

As the Bears travel north to take on the Vikings, here are three concerning issues.

3 keys for the Bears defense vs. Vikings in Week 5

As the Bears prepare to face the Vikings, here’s what Chicago’s defense needs to do to slow down the Minnesota offense in Week 5.

The Chicago Bears (2-2) will battle the Minnesota Vikings (3-1) on Sunday, where Chicago is looking to avoid their first losing record of the 2022 season.

The Bears are coming off a 20-12 loss to the New York Giants (3-1), where they stumbled on offense in the red zone and stopping the run on defense. Despite a rough outing by Chicago’s defense, they still haven’t allowed a touchdown in the second half.

As the Bears prepare to face the Vikings, here’s what Chicago’s defense needs to do to slow down the Minnesota offense in Week 5.

How N’Keal Harry’s impending return can help Bears passing game

The Bears opened the 21-day window for N’Keal Harry’s return from IR, and he’s someone the team is hoping helps bolsters the receiving corp.

Bears wide receiver N’Keal Harry has been designated to return from injured reserve, opening a 21-day window for his return to the team.

Harry suffered an ankle injury back on Aug. 6, which required surgery. He was placed on IR on Sept. 1, making him eligible to return in Week 5 against the Vikings.

Whether or not Harry actually suits up for Sunday’s game remains to be seen. But the team is expecting his return within the next few weeks, which can only help what’s been a thin receiving corp and an even worse passing game.

Darnell Mooney, Equanimeous St. Brown and Dante Pettis led an underwhelming group in Week 4. Rookie Velus Jones Jr. has yet to make his debut on offense while Byron Pringle is on IR.

Heach coach Matt Eberflus knows the impact a big-bodied wideout like Harry can bring to this receivers group, especially when it comes to addressing some situational issues.

“Obviously when you have a big-bodied receiver like that that’s open and has got a good catch radius and can big-body guys, that’s an important thing to have,” Eberflus said, via ChicagoBears.com. “Situational football, third down and red zone, those are all important things to look at when you’re looking at catchers, and he certainly has that.”

While Harry didn’t have a lot of time with quarterback Justin Fields this summer, their connection was starting to develop. Fields understands the importance of having a receiver like Harry, who could potentially be a matchup nightmare with his size.

“He would of course be a good matchup for smaller DBs,” Fields said. “One-on-one, especially red zone, just throwing up a jump ball to him, that’s one of the things he does really well. So just being able to throw more 50-50 balls.”

At this point, the Bears should try anything and everything to try and light a spark in this passing game.

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3 keys for Bears offense vs. Vikings in Week 5

As the Bears prepare to face the Vikings, here’s what Chicago’s offense needs to do to succeed against the Minnesota defense in Week 5.

The Chicago Bears (2-2) will face the division-leading Minnesota Vikings (3-1) on the road in Week 5.

Chicago is coming off a demoralizing loss to the New York Giants (3-1). The Bears could not get the offense moving, and despite New York being down to Saquon Barkley as their third-string quarterback, the offense failed to score a touchdown in the second half.

The Bears offense is the second worst in the NFL. Chicago has plenty to improve upon or this team will continue to lose games.

Here are the three things the Bears’ offense needs to do to succeed against the Vikings in Week 5 and improve to 3-2.

Bear Necessities: Chicago has opportunity to improve in red zone vs. Vikings

The Bears went 0-for-3 in the red zone in Week 4. But there will be opportunities to reverse those misfortunes against the Vikings.

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Perhaps the most frustrating part of the Bears’ 20-12 loss to the Giants was the fact that Chicago had opportunities to win. Instead, they stalled in the red zone, going 0-for-3 and settling for field goals each time.

“We certainly have to improve on that,” said head coach Matt Eberflus. “It’s about scoring. This league is about scoring touchdowns and defensively we’re doing OK right now. But offensively, we need to improve that percentage. But again, the practices just have to translate. It’s been good red-zone practices. We’ve got good schemes down there. It just has to translate to the game now.”

Interestingly enough, the Bears had the fifth-ranked red zone offense heading into last week’s game against the Giants, scoring touchdowns on 71.43% of their red zone opportunities.

So what changed against the Giants?

“There’s nothing else to really put it on, besides all 11 not doing our jobs,” said left tackle Braxton Jones, via ChicagoBears.com. “It’s obviously a little bit more of an emphasis. But we haven’t been terrible in the red zone, except for last week, so I think we’ve just got to execute better. I know a few times for me, I think we’re in the high red zone and I had one bad play, and then it led to a fumble, and then the false start that killed it. So certain things like that, just gotta clue in better and not really hurt the drive and kill the drive. But that’s all it is.”

The Bears should have their opportunities in the red zone against the Vikings, who are allowing touchdowns on 72.73% of those opportunities. Whether Chicago can take advantage of that remains to be seen.