The Chicago Bears have been using their potent offense to full advantage over the last month, but they’ll be in for a stern test as they take on the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on Sunday night.
The Bears, who are one of the NFL’s top teams in both scoring (29.9 points per game) and rushing (120.1 yards per contest), have been playing some lower tier teams in recent weeks, but the Vikings’ defense will provide a formidable challenge that should give an accurate picture of just how big of a stride forward the team has made under head coach Matt Nagy.
The big key for the Bears’ offense will be to take care of the football, as Mitchell Trubisky has shown a penchant for doing in recent weeks. Trubisky has thrown seven interceptions on the season, but only one in the last three weeks, and he has yet to lose a fumble despite running 41 times for 320 yards.
The Bears will also need to keep their quarterback upright, as the Vikings have 31 sacks this season. The Bears have only allowed 18 sacks in nine games this season, but without Kyle Long at right guard, they’ll have to get creative in order to protect their signal-caller throughout the contest.
On the Vikings’ side of things, their pass game is their big strength. They are averaging 283 yards per game through the air, good for eighth in the NFL, and Kirk Cousins has thrown for 17 touchdowns. Add in the fact that he’ll have both Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs lining up on offense this week, and it could be a tough challenge for the Bears’ secondary.
Where the Vikings are vulnerable is in the run game, so expect the Bears to try to take away the passing game as much as possible. Cousins has been sacked 24 times this season, and the Vikings as a whole are only rushing for 91.7 yards per game, the fifth-worst rate in the league.
Add to that mix the fact that the Bears have one of the best run defenses in the league, and it’s pretty clear that the key will be to focus as much as possible on Minnesota’s passing attack.