Bears have been Monsters of the Midway to Vikings

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 19, 2012 - 11:46 PM

The Vikings have lost their past four games in Chicago and are looking to stop a five-game losing streak against the Bears.

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Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder was hit by Bears defensive lineman Israel Edonije in the second quarter during a Jan. 1, 2012, game. Ponder injured his hip on the play.

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune file

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The Vikings don't need much reminding of their recent woes in Chicago. Defensive end Jared Allen, for example, offered up again Monday that he is 0-4 at Soldier Field, still bothered by a quartet of games in which he remembers the Bears jumping out to early leads and the Vikings failing to get back over the hump.

"It just seems to be the same story whenever we go there," Allen said. "The first half is a storm we're trying to weather. And in the second half, we come out and scratch back into it. ... Whatever it is, you need to be aware of it and focus on, 'Oh, hey, this is how things have gone, and let's change things around here.'"

Indeed, true to Allen's memory, the Vikings have trailed at halftime in all four of his trips to Chicago.

Last year's 26-3 deficit was the biggest of the bunch and led to a 39-10 mauling.

Coach Leslie Frazier, meanwhile, laments the Vikings' current four-game Soldier Field skid as a byproduct of poor field position.

"Man," Frazier said, "any time we play Chicago, that is always an issue."

In the Vikings' past four visits to the Windy City, the Bears have scored 28 times -- 17 touchdowns, 10 field goals and a safety. In that span, the Vikings defense has allowed nine scoring drives that began on their half of the field.

Chicago also has a kickoff return score, a blocked punt touchdown and two fumble recovery TDs.

"I can remember some times where we just felt like we were on short fields all day long," Frazier said. "It drives you crazy."

But enough of the bad memories for a minute. Here's some reason for optimism. The Vikings returned to practice Monday morning after a week off and seemed to have a surplus of energy.

The Bears, meanwhile, spent their Monday in San Francisco and will have to regroup on a short week after a difficult West Coast road game.

So maybe there is reason to believe the Vikings can flip the script and remain a factor in the NFC playoff race into December. After all, the bye week seemed to provide plenty of physical and mental rejuvenation, particularly since it was preceded by a feel-good 34-24 victory over Detroit in which the Vikings found corrections to stabilize their run defense and catalyze their passing attack.

"I think we needed to get back on track with what we were doing," quarterback Christian Ponder said. "I think that definitely helped. It definitely made the bye week more enjoyable."

Now, much of the talk this week at Winter Park will center on the opportunity for the Vikings to make big things happen.

Yes, a three-game stretch that sandwiches a trip to Green Bay between two games with Chicago could realistically be the trap door that drops the Vikings out of playoff contention. But this upcoming slate also presents an opportunity for a surge that could keep a potential January game in play.

That's why mindset will be so critical for the Vikings this week -- as it has been all season.

No, Chicago hasn't been kind in recent years. The Vikings have only one victory there since 2000. But the Vikings understand this weekend's trip could become a springboard if they hit it right.

"Anybody would be dumb not to say this isn't a huge game for us," Allen said. "Again, it's not a make-or-break game. But it's a dang crucial game for where we're trying to get to."

  • VIKINGS WEEK 12

    Noon Sunday at Chicago • Soldier Field • TV: Ch. 9 • Line: Off the board

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NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit 3 Bottom 8th Inning
Chicago WSox 6
Chicago Cubs 5 Bottom 5th Inning
St. Louis 1
Cincinnati - A. Simon 3:05 PM
Pittsburgh - V. Worley
Minnesota - K. Gibson 6:05 PM
Baltimore - C. Tillman
Philadelphia - J. Williams 6:10 PM
NY Mets - B. Colon
Miami - J. Cosart 6:10 PM
Atlanta - A. Harang
Boston - A. Webster 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Odorizzi
Cleveland - T. Bauer 6:10 PM
Kansas City - J. Shields
Detroit - K. Ryan 6:10 PM
Chicago WSox - C. Bassitt
Texas - R. Ross Jr. 6:10 PM
Houston - S. Feldman
Colorado - T. Matzek 7:10 PM
Arizona - V. Nuno
Chicago Cubs - T. Wada 7:15 PM
St. Louis - M. Gonzales
Los Angeles - Z. Greinke 7:40 PM
San Diego - I. Kennedy
Milwaukee - M. Fiers 8:05 PM
San Francisco - J. Peavy
Oakland - J. Samardzija 8:05 PM
LA Angels - C. Rasmus
Washington - S. Strasburg 8:10 PM
Seattle - R. Elias
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 3 2nd Qtr 13:03
Massachusetts 0
West Virginia 3 1st Qtr 10:58
(2) Alabama 0
Rice 0 1st Qtr 12:00
(17) Notre Dame 0
(10) South Dakota St 7 1st Qtr 9:41
(24) Missouri 7
Fla Atlantic 0 1st Qtr 13:10
(22) Nebraska 0
California 0 1st Qtr 9:30
Northwestern 0
Marshall 0 1st Qtr 12:27
Miami-Ohio 0
UC Davis 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Colorado 3:00 PM
Seattle
New England 4:00 PM
Toronto FC
Columbus 6:30 PM
Montreal
FC Dallas 7:30 PM
Chicago
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Chicago 6:00 PM
Indiana
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