Vikings meet Bears for division lead

There is one factor here that solidly favors the Bears: Mitch Trubisky is a much better scrambler and runner than Kirk Cousins. Watershed in that the victor flows onward with a better chance of winning the division and the loser just flows off into some meaningless tributary, out of contention, out of the playoffs and out of relevance. When they're in their no-huddle, they're telling him what plays to call and things like that.

This season, with Trey Burton entrenched as the "U" tight end - which is more of a receiving role in coach Matt Nagy's offense - Shaheen projects as a "Y" (more traditional in-line) tight end.

"Still got to hike the ball", Richardson said. Trubisky, the No. 2 overall pick by the Bears in 2017, has 1,969 yards of total offense and 19 combined touchdowns over the past six games. He really adds a lot of physicality to their defense. "I think they have swagger anyway, but I think he's added some to it knowing that they've got a guy of his caliber that's in there".

"They've got really good players on the inside that penetrate", he added about the Vikings' pressure. The Bears (6-3) hold the top spot right now following three straight double-digit victories and face a Vikings (5-3-1) team that has won four of its last five following a slow start and is coming off a bye. They have 30 sacks, which is fifth in the league, and have the second-most takeaways in the NFL this season with 16 interceptions and eight fumble recoveries. "And there's several safeties in this league that are like him, where guys that can come down, play in the box, guys that blitz - very similar to (Jamal Adams)". According to defensive end Everson Griffen, they are both good at getting to the edges and making some big plays. Chicago is a 2.5-point favorite and the over-under for total points scored is 44.5 in the latest Bears vs. Vikings odds.

"I think I've grown a lot since that play", Trubisky said of the interception.

It had to be a pretty helpless feeling for Lions All-Pro cornerback Darius Slay last week watching Mitchell Trubisky and the Bears' offense burn Detroit's secondary to the tune of 355 yards and three touchdowns.

Zimmer said Friday that he has plenty of confidence in Conklin. Nagy said. "It's not that hard to me".

As much as the Vikings respect Mack, they also made it clear that it's important not to fear him this weekend. WR Allen Robinson had six receptions for 133 yards, two TDs against Detroit after missing previous two games with groin injury.

"Defensively, we've obviously improved in the last five weeks a ton from where we were", Zimmer said. "They're strong. They can force you to lose leverage, so you know Cody [Whitehair] and our guards, they understand they are going to have a big challenge here this week".

Would the Vikings like to have Sendejo back on the field this season? You take a win anywhere you can get it, but Minnesota is going to have to get it done against tougher competition if they want any shot at going back to the playoffs. They're opportunistic, and they take the ball away when they need to, and they're led by two great people on those sides in coach [Vic] Fangio and of course with coach [Mike] Zimmer running that show over there.

  • Stacy Allen