You never know what is going to happen when the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings square off for an NFC North battle. The Bears and Vikings have been known to pull off massive upsets in this rivalry, and standings don’t matter when these two teams take the field. The Green Bay Packers are the biggest rivals to both the Bears and Vikings, but there is no love lost between these Midwest cities.
These two teams became rivals all the way back in 1961, but the first truly memorable moment came during the 1985 season. The Bears staged a second-half comeback under quarterback Jim McMahon en route to a 33-24 victory, and the Bears went on to win the Super Bowl that season.
The final game of the 2018 season was also tense between the Bears and Vikings, as Chicago eliminated Minnesota from playoff contention with a victory in week 17. Odds are that the Bears and Vikings will continue to be intense rivals for years to come, and the two teams will be popular preseason picks to be playoff teams in 2019.
History of Bears vs. Vikings Rivalry
The Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings first met on September 17, 1961, and the Vikings came away with a 37-13 victory in that game. The Vikings hold a 60-54-2 lead in the all-time series standings, with the two teams playing at least twice a year since they are in the same division. Minnesota and Chicago have met just one time in the postseason, which resulted in a 35-18 Bears victory during the 1995 NFL Playoffs.
The Vikings dominated the Bears from 1972-1976, racking up eight straight victories against their rivals. The Bears got some revenge in the mid 80’s, rattling off six straight victories from 1983-1986, and again from 2009-2012. Minnesota was a popular preseason pick to reach the 2018 Super Bowl, but the Bears got past their rival and wound up winning the NFC North. Look for the Bears and Vikings to continue to have intense battles next season and in the next decade.
The Chicago Bears were founded all the way back in 1920 and came into the league as the Decatur Staleys. The team was moved to Chicago a season later and were renamed the Bears in 1922. Chicago is one of the most storied franchises in league history, and a ton of the best players in NFL history wear the Bears uniform. George Halas was one of the original founders of this historic franchise and is known today as “Papa Bear” Halas. Legendary head coach Mike Ditka led the team to their only Super Bowl Championship in 1985 with one of the most famously dominant teams in NFL history. The Bears defense is commonly known as the “Monsters of the Midway,” and Chicago is one of the best football cities in America.
The Minnesota Vikings came into the NFL as an expansion franchise in 1961 and joined the National Football Conference in 1970. The Vikings got off to a slow start, but by the end of the 1960s they had grown to be one of the best teams in the NFL. Minnesota won the last league championship prior to the AFL-NFL merger in 1969, and that is their one and only league championship. The Vikings have made 27 playoff appearances since the AFL-NFL merger and have consistently put winning teams on the field. Wide receivers Chris Carter and Randy Moss teamed up to form one of the best receiving tandems in the NFL in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The Minnesota Vikings are still trying to match the success of both the Green Bay Packers and Chicago Bears, but they appear to be well on their way.
Head to Head Analysis of Bears vs. Vikings
The Bears and Vikings rivalry has had many twists and turns through the years, and looking at the complete history doesn’t help us in making predictions moving forward. If we focus on the last 20 games between the Bears and Vikings we can get a more clear picture of how this series is going. In the last 20 games, the Chicago Bears have posted an 11-9 record against the Minnesota Vikings and had a run of six straight victories during that span.
The Bears also won both of the games during the 2018 season, and they will head into the 2019 season with a two-game winning streak. Home teams have dominated this rivalry in the last 20 games, which could be something to keep an eye on moving forward. The Bears went 8-2 against the Vikings at Soldier Field in Chicago, and the Vikings posted a 7-3 record in games played in Minnesota. If the past 20 games are any indication of the future, the home teams are the pick moving forward.
Looking at the records for each team in the last 20 games is just a small piece of the puzzle. We can also look at the results in relation to the point spreads and the results in the last 20 games in terms of over/under betting. The Bears and Vikings have combined to go “under” the point total in 13 games, while they have combined to go “over” just seven times. This result goes along with tradition, as the Bears and Vikings are defensive teams and the NFC North is a division that is based on defense.
The Bears have also been the right team to pick against the spread in the last 20 games. Chicago has been a favorite in just eight of the last 20 games but went 6-2 against the spread in games as the favorite. The Vikings were the favorites in terms of point spread in 12 games, but they only covered the spread in five of them. The Bears haven’t been great against the rest of the NFL in this span, but they have been the right pick in almost any situation when playing the Vikings.
A Glance at Postseason Success in Bears vs. Vikings Rivalry
The Minnesota Vikings might have a slim lead over the Chicago Bears in the all-time series, but they don’t even come close to matching their postseason success. The Bears are one of the most storied franchises in NFL history, having won nine league championships. All but one of those league championships came prior to the AFL-NFL merger in 1970. Minnesota has just one league championship, but they are looking for their first-ever championship in the Super Bowl era.
The Vikings have won 20 division championships in league history, while the Bears have won a grand total of 21 of them. Minnesota does hold a small edge over Chicago in playoff appearances. The Vikings have made it to the NFL Playoffs a total of 29 times, while the Bears have reached the playoffs 26 times. It’s kind of weird that the two teams have combined for just one Super Bowl victory despite being two of the best teams in the National Football League since the merger in 1970.
The Bears and Vikings are certain to continue duking it out in defensive duels in future seasons. Their rivalry might not be as contentious as some of the other spats in the league, but these teams have plenty of drive to defeat each other. Keep an eye out for Minnesota working their way up to challenge the Bears in the 2019 season and beyond!