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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Houston 7:30 PM
Pittsburgh
San Diego 10/23/14 7:25 PM
Denver
Detroit 10/26/14 8:30 AM
Atlanta
Buffalo 10/26/14 12:00 PM
NY Jets
St. Louis 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
Houston 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee
Minnesota 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Seattle 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Carolina
Baltimore 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati
Miami 10/26/14 12:00 PM
Jacksonville
Chicago 10/26/14 12:00 PM
New England
Philadelphia 10/26/14 3:05 PM
Arizona
Oakland 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Cleveland
Indianapolis 10/26/14 3:25 PM
Pittsburgh
Green Bay 10/26/14 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 6:00 PM
Cleveland
New Orleans 6:00 PM
Washington
Milwaukee 6:30 PM
New York
Philadelphia 6:30 PM
Brooklyn
Charlotte 6:30 PM
Atlanta
Sacramento 7:30 PM
San Antonio
Memphis 7:30 PM
Dallas
Tampa Bay 8:30 PM
Edmonton
Arkansas State 10/21/14 7:00 PM
Louisiana
Connecticut 10/23/14 6:00 PM
(18) East Carolina
Miami-Florida 10/23/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
So Florida 10/24/14 6:00 PM
Cincinnati
Troy 10/24/14 6:30 PM
South Alabama
BYU 10/24/14 8:00 PM
Boise State
(6) Oregon 10/24/14 9:00 PM
California
North Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Rice
UAB 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Arkansas
Rutgers 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(16) Nebraska
Maryland 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Wisconsin
Texas 10/25/14 11:00 AM
(11) Kansas State
Minnesota 10/25/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
Memphis 10/25/14 11:00 AM
SMU
North Carolina 10/25/14 11:30 AM
Virginia
San Jose St 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Navy
Northern Ill 10/25/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
(25) UCLA 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Colorado
Akron 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Ball State
Massachusetts 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Toledo
Ohio U 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Western Mich
Ga Southern 10/25/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Kent State 10/25/14 1:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
Oregon State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Stanford
Fla Atlantic 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(23) Marshall
Louisiana Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(1) Miss State 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Georgia Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Pittsburgh
(22) West Virginia 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Texas Tech 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(10) TCU
Michigan 10/25/14 2:30 PM
(8) Michigan State
Boston College 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Wake Forest
Central Mich 10/25/14 2:30 PM
Buffalo
Vanderbilt 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Missouri
Old Dominion 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Western Ky
UNLV 10/25/14 3:00 PM
Utah State
Temple 10/25/14 4:00 PM
UCF
(15) Arizona 10/25/14 5:00 PM
Washington St
Texas-El Paso 10/25/14 6:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Wyoming 10/25/14 6:00 PM
Colorado State
Syracuse 10/25/14 6:00 PM
(21) Clemson
Texas State 10/25/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(3) Ole Miss 10/25/14 6:15 PM
(24) LSU
(4) Alabama 10/25/14 6:30 PM
Tennessee
So Carolina 10/25/14 6:30 PM
(5) Auburn
(13) Ohio State 10/25/14 7:00 PM
Penn State
(20) USC 10/25/14 9:00 PM
(19) Utah
(14) Arizona State 10/25/14 9:45 PM
Washington
Nevada 10/25/14 10:59 PM
Hawaii
Ottawa 6 FINAL
Hamilton 16
Montreal 20 FINAL
Toronto 12
Calgary 33 FINAL
Winnipeg 23
Edmonton 24 FINAL
Saskatchewan 19
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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