We get a battle within the NFC North to close out Week 10 on Monday Night Football when the Minnesota Vikings (3-5, 2-2 away) take on the Chicago Bears (5-4, 2-2 home). This is a crucial matchup for both teams trying to keep pace with the Green Bay Packers within the division. The kickoff is set for its usual Monday Night Football timeslot of 8:15 p.m. EST at Soldier Field in Chicago, IL. Minnesota is a 3-point road favorite in the divisional contest, according to oddsmakers.
What to Know – Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings began the season with three consecutive losses but have won three of their last five, including two in a row, giving the Vikings momentum as they step into the second half of the season. A win over the Bears would give the Vikings three-straight wins over divisional opponents in as many weeks.
Kirk Cousins completed 13-of-20 passes for 220 yards and three touchdowns in the rout over the Lions last Sunday. The effort was Cousin’s third of the season passing for three touchdowns.
Dalvin Cook is putting up video game-like numbers over the last two weeks. Cook has tallied 369 yards on the ground as well as 109 yards receiving. The talented all-purpose back has found the endzone six times over that time.
Rookie Justin Jefferson has built up a rapport with Cousins as the season has progressed. Jefferson led the Vikings with three receptions for 64 yards last Sunday against Detriot. He leads the Vikings with 627 yards receiving this season and has added three scores.
What to Know – Chicago Bears
Chicago has dropped three-straight contests and has looked subpar offensively. The offensive woes have prompted a change, with head coach Matt Nagy handing over the playcalling duties to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor. A win for Chicago would keep the Bears within earshot of the Packers in standings.
Nick Foles attempted a season-high 52 passes in the loss last week to Tennessee. Foles completed 36 of them for 335 yards and a pair of touchdown passes. The former Super Bowl MVP is 2-4 since replacing Mitch Trubisky as the Bears starting quarterback.
The Bears have been unable to establish any sort of rushing attack this season behind a lackluster offensive line. Chicago has the league’s worst rushing offense averaging just 82.3 yards per game on the ground. David Montgomery is the team’s leading rusher with 472 yards.
Allen Robinson II hauled in seven passes for 81 yards against the Titans as the team’s leading receiver. Tight end Jimmy Graham caught his team-high fifth touchdown of the season, his first since Week 5.
The Pick is In
These two teams have gone in opposite directions over the last few weeks, with the Bears dropping three and Vikings winning two in a row. The Vikings have found a balanced rushing and passing attack with Jefferson’s emergence on the outside to compliment Adam Thielen. A shakeup in the play-calling for the Bears should boost an offensive attack that frankly can’t get any worse. Chicago should find success moving the ball against one of the league’s worst defenses statistically.