The Minnesota Vikings enter this game with a 34-20 win over the Detroit Lions that improved their season record to 3-5. The Bears are coming off of a 24-17 loss to the Tennessee Titans that dropped their record to 5-3.
This game was a defensive struggle with the first points coming on a Stephen Gostkowski 40-yard field goal with 4:22 left in the first quarter. The Titans would add to the lead later in the first half when a 12-play, 91-yard drive ended on a 40-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Tannehill to A.J. Brown and a 10-0 lead heading to halftime.
With 4:41 left in the third quarter, Titans cornerback Desmond King picked up a David Montgomery fumble and raced 63 yards for the scoop and score. With 12:30 left in the game, the Bears finally got on the board with a 22-yard Cairo Santos field goal that cut the lead to 17-3.
Any momentum was quickly erased, as Tennessee drove 76 yards on eight plays after the field goal. The drive ended in a two-yard touchdown pass from Tannehill to tight end Jonnu Smith. Smith had a 30-yard reception on the play prior to the touchdown.
Chicago would move 75 yards in nine plays, with Nick Foles finding running back Ryan Nall for a six-yard touchdown pass. The scoring would close with an eight-play, 80-yard Bears touchdown drive that ended on a Nick Foles to Jimmy Graham eight-yard pass.
Foles would complete 36-of-52 passes for 335 yards and two touchdowns. The Bears would rush for a mere 56 yards on 20 carries, with D.J. Montgomery having 30 of those yards on 14 carries. Allen Robinson had 81 yards on seven catches to lead the Bears’ receivers. Chicago would punt eight times in the game.
The Vikings would ride their ground game and an opportunistic defense to the 34-20 win over the Lions. Dalvin Cook led a punishing Vikings ground attack with 206 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries. His highlight was a 70-yard scamper on the Vikings first play from scrimmage, after a Matt Prater field goal cut the Vikings lead to 27-13.
Alexander Mattison added 69 yards on 12 carries. Kirk Cousins completed 13-of-20 passes for 220 yards on the day, including three touchdowns. Justin Jefferson was the Vikings’ top receiver on the day with 64 yards on just three catches. Tight end Irv Smith, Jr. had just two catches for 10 yards on the day, but both went for touchdowns. The Vikings would have three interceptions on the game, with one apiece from linebackers Eric Wilson and Eric Kendricks, and veteran all-pro safety Harrison Smith.
The Vikings would allow 292 net passing yards on the day. Matthew Stafford was 23-of-32 for 211 yards, a touchdown, and two interceptions before leaving the game with a possible concussion. Chase Daniel finished with 94 yards on eight of 13 passing. He threw one touchdown and an interception. They would run for 129 yards on 27 carries. D’Andre Swift led the way with 64 yards on 13 attempts. Danny Amendola led all receivers in the game, picking up 77 yards on seven catches.
This marks the Vikings’ third consecutive division game and it’s in prime time. The Vikings have dropped four straight against the Bears and have struggled on offense, averaging less than 14 points per game in those contests.
Dalvin Cook has been a beast in his last two games, rushing for 369 total yards. The Bears rushing defense has been stout. In his latest performance, Derrick Henry was held to just 68 rushing yards on 21 carries.
If the Vikings are going to win this one, it will take a strong game from Kirk Cousins, as I don’t expect Cook to run wild like he has been. While the Bears offense has been as weak as a B-movie plot line, their defense is good enough to win ugly games.
I think the Vikings’ mini-winning streak ends in this one. I’m taking the Bears, 23-13.
(Featured Image Credit: Vikings.com)