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Vikings at Bears: 3 Key Matchups

By: Tanishka Mhaskar
Photo: USA Today

The Minnesota Vikings (2-1) head to the Windy City to take on the Chicago Bears (2-1) in a presumed defensive matchup. Both teams dropped a game early in the season to the Green Bay Packers (3-1) so this is a pivotal matchup because the loser will be deep in a 0-2 divisional hole.

I will be highlighting three key matchups to look out for when you watch the game tomorrow.

Dalvin Cook vs Bears Linebackers

The Vikings running back has taken the season by a storm racking up a league leading 375 rush yards. The Vikings have been primarily attacking their opponents through outside zone runs. Cook been the focal point of the Vikings offense and the Bears defensive line will try to make him a nonfactor in the game with the help of linebackers Danny Trevathan and Roquan Smith. 

Trevathan is the Bears leader in tackles and Smith has made his fair share of plays this season. The Bears have allowed a meager 3.4 yards per carry to opposing running backs this season. Their rushing defense ranks 5th best in the NFL and it’ll certainly get physical. 

Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy noted that the Vikings are “very persistent with it [the run]. It’s something they’re going to do regardless and they’re very good at it.”

The QB Battle

Mitch Trubisky and Kirk Cousins both have top defenses and a good array of weapons yet they never seem to play well against good defenses. For one of these teams to win this game, it’s going to come down to the QB that makes the play. 

Both QBs folded against the best defense they played this season--The Packers--by throwing a game losing interception. Sunday’s matchup is going to come down to the wire in regards to the plays made and the plays not made. Mitch Trubisky will not have his touchdown machine WR Taylor Gabriel due to a concussion so it’ll be exciting to see if guys like Javon Wims can step up. 

As for the Vikings, they resigned first round draftee Laquon Treadwell this week due to their lack of depth at WR. WIll he finally step up?

One thing for sure is, one of these QBs will determine the game. Win or lose. 

Vikings Receivers vs Bears Secondary

Sure the Vikings like to run the ball, but what happens if Dalvin Cook has an off day or if they’re behind and need to amp up the passes? It has shown in the NFL that to win big games it comes down to passing.

This would not be surprising with both teams possessing stellar run defenses. So, will this finally be the week the Vikings star studded WR duo rises from the dead? 

Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs have both had fairly quiet starts due to the lack of passing volume, however, they do have four touchdowns between the two. The Bears will look to keep the explosive big play ability of the WRs in check with their top two corners in Prince Amukamara and Kyle Fuller.

Although the TEs haven’t been as involved in the offense as most would have guessed, rookie TE Irv Smith Jr. had his best game last week against the Raiders where he led the Vikings in receiving yards with 60. He certainly provides a special type of speed and athleticism that Minnesota’s TE group didn’t possess last season so it will be important to see what mismatches OC Kevin Stefanski dials up. 

Watch out for these matchups as you catch the Vikings take on the Bears on CBS at 3:25 CST tomorrow in this very important divisional game. 

My score prediction for tomorrow is 21-15 Vikings. Be sure to comment yours below and as always, SKOL.