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It’s been 29 years to the day that the Minnesota Vikings played their last home game outdoors and with repairs to the Metrodome still underway, the game against the Chicago Bears has been moved to the University of Minnesota’s outdoor TCF Bank stadium, home of the Golden Gophers. The weather forecast is 25°, with wind making it feel more like 13° and a 90% chance of more snow. With a win, the Bears can clinch the NFC North but the Vikings would like nothing better than to play spoiler.
The Bears (9-4) come into Minnesota after a big loss at home last week against the Patriots. With the weather a factor, the running game is likely to take center stage and RBs Matt Forte and Chester Taylor will lead the charge for Chicago. On the defensive side, Chicago’s 2nd-ranked run defense is sure to a get dose of Adrian Peterson and look for DE Julius Peppers to put pressure on a rookie QB.
On the other side, the Vikings continue their revolving door at QB, starting 6th round pick Joe Webb in place of the injured Brett Favre and Tavaris Jackson. Interim head coach Leslie Frazier is starting Webb ahead of recently signed Patrick Ramsey who has not had enough time to prepare. Although listed as questionable, Adrian Peterson, the 8th-ranked RB in the league with 1,149 yards is expected get the majority of the offensive touches with an untried QB and harsh weather. Peterson hurt his knee in a collision with Jackson in last week’s loss to the Giants. DE Jared Allen, who had two sacks in the last meeting with the Bears, is going to look to have a big game against a line that has given up 43 sacks of QB Jay Cutler, the most in the league.
FOX Business has evaluated the win/loss and stock market statistics over the past 20 seasons of Monday night NFL games and come up with a Monday Night Markets [MNM] rank for each team based on their record and the prior week’s market activity. Let’s take a look at what the markets have to say.
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The major indexes were up last week with the Dow Industrials gaining 0.72%, now on a three week winning streak and up twelve of the last sixteen. The S&P 500 was also up closing out the week with a 0.28% gain also up three weeks in a row and up nine of the past eleven. The markets were buoyed by the extension of the Bush tax cuts and a number of economic reports that showed positive housing and jobs data as well as a pickup in U.S. manufacturing data and stronger than expected November retail sales, offsetting pressure from Moody’s downgrade of Ireland’s credit rating and a stronger dollar.
Over the past 20 years, the Bears have played 26 Monday night games and based on our calculations have a Monday night rank of .357 when the Dow closes the prior week up and .467 when the S&P 500 is up giving them a MNM rank for this week of .412. During the same 20 year period, the Vikings have played 29 Monday night games and have a rank of .429 when the Dow is up and .400 when the S&P 500 is up giving them an MNM rank this week of .415.
Monday Night Markets picks the Minnesota Vikings outdoors over the Chicago Bears.
2010 Monday Night Markets picks: 9-6.
Week 14 FBN Staff Picks:
The Bears will win this game. Chicago QB Jay Cutler is so up and down it’s difficult to predict what type of performance the team will get from him week to week. He was terrible last week at home, so why not bounce back this week on the road? The Vikes will start rookie Joe Webb. Bears win “outdoors” the way the game was intended to be played.
The Bears rock on!
Minnesota Hall of Fame Quarterback Fran Tarkenton told Fox Business last week that he’ll be in the land of ice and snow as the Vikings honor the top 50 players from the team’s first half century. Perhaps current Viking QB Joe Webb’s athletic moves and strong arm will rekindle warm memories of the scrambling Tarkenton, especially as the game will be played outdoors in frigid temperatures due to the recent collapse of the Metrodome’s roof. That is a serious home field advantage this time of year, except when your opponent actually plays all of its games outdoors in blustery Chicago. Minnesota beat the Bears in their first-ever home game, as Tarkenton came off the bench to lead them to victory. But this time around the Bears will make a big move towards locking down a playoff spot as their defense spoils Webb’s QB debut and the veteran Vikings’s Valhalla return.