Coming of a bye week the Minnesota Vikings have a crucial three game stretch headed their way. The result of the next couple games will provide the Vikings faithful a better idea of whether or not their favorite football team has a realistic chance of making the playoffs this season.
First up on the schedule, Kansas City Chiefs head to Minnesota. Unfortunately, the Chiefs just lost their most dynamic playmaker Jamaal Charles to a knee injury. That adds insult to injury because they are currently on a four game losing streak in which their offense has struggled to get into the end zone, and their defense cant get off the field. Through five games the Chiefs offense is ranked 24th per Pro Football Focus. The loss of Charles is going to hurt them even more but they still have enough playmakers on offense and defense to be competitive. This will be the first test of the second quarter for the Vikings, and they have historically struggled coming off a bye week the last couple years. But at the end of the day I think the dominance of the Vikings defense will continue to lead them to victory.
My Prediction: Vikings 28 Chiefs 13
Week 7 the Vikings travel to Detroit to play against the Motor City Kitties aka Detroit Lions. While the Lions are winless this season, this is in no way an easy game. The Lions have been in most of their games, and arguably should have beat the Seahawks in Seattle, if it wasn’t for a questionable missed penalty call by the referees. The key for the Vikings to win this match up would be to replicate their performance against them from earlier this season. Rush the passer, protect the quarterback, and contain Calvin Johnson.
My Prediction: Vikings 27 Lions 20
In Week 8 the Vikings face the Chicago Bears in Chicago a place they have struggled mightly. Since 2001 the Vikings have won in Chicago just once in 2008 on a day in which Adrian Peterson rushed for 224 yards and 3 touchdowns. At the beginning of the season the Bears looked like the worst team in the NFL, but they have won two close games and are playing much better football of late. I struggle to confidently pick the Vikings to win this game, but if this is the year they want to get over the hump and make the playoffs, they need to beat division opponents on the road.
My Prediction: Vikings 20 Bears 17
The Vikings have themselves three winnable games coming up and if they want to be able to make the playoffs they really need to come out of this three game stretch with three victories. If they can get to 5-2 they will be in great shape to make a playoff push in 2015.
Image Courtesy of ProFootballSpot
Nareg Bostanian is a NFL Beat Writer covering the Minnesota Vikings for RSEN. You can follow him on Twitter @NaregNFL