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Opposing Viewpoint: 5 Questions (and Answers) About Bears

The Vikings are ready for their second prime-time game of the 2020 season, as Minnesota heads to Chicago for a Week 10 showdown on Monday Night Football.

The Vikings are 3-5 and have won two straight games due to a vaunted run game, and the team is hoping to flip the recent script in that area at Soldier Field. Minnesota is also looking to end a four-game skid against Chicago.

But what are some key storylines from the other side?

To find that out, chatted with Bears reporter Larry Mayer for a glance at what Chicago is thinking before Sunday's game.

Here is the Week 10 edition of Opposing Viewpoint:

The Bears sit at 5-4 before Monday night's game but have endured a bit of a roller-coaster season thus far. Chicago started hot at 5-1, but has since lost three straight games to fall back into the pack a bit. What's one theme/word that sums up the Bears 2020 season to date, and why?

LM: Frustration. The Bears have sputtered on offense most of the season, repeatedly wasting excellent performances by their defense. The Bears rank 29th in the NFL in both scoring and total yards.

Chicago made a quarterback change during the Week 3 game against Atlanta and made Nick Foles the starter in Week 4. How has Foles emerged as a leader for the offense despite the Bears struggling a bit over the past month?

LM: Nick Foles has been part of an offense that has failed to perform up to expectations. Since Foles threw three touchdown passes in the final 6:20 of the fourth quarter to lead the Bears to a 30-26 comeback win over the Falcons, the offense has mustered nine TDs in six games, averaging 17.3 points per game.

And speaking of the Bears offense, who could give that unit a spark on Monday night?

LM: Rookie fifth-round receiver Darnell Mooney has been a pleasant surprise, emerging as a key contributor and big-play threat. Two weeks ago against the Saints he produced the Bears' longest play from scrimmage of the season with a 50-yard reception from Foles.

Perhaps the most fascinating matchup will be Dalvin Cook and the Vikings running game against the Bears stout run defense. Chicago has had the upper hand here in recent meetings, but how much are the Bears focused on Cook based on his recent terror across the NFC North?

LM: Containing Dalvin Cook has to be the defense's No. 1 priority. It's the third straight week the Bears will face an elite running back after games against the Saints' Alvin Kamara and the Titans' Derrick Henry. The Bears held Henry in check by swarming to the ball and must do the same against Cook, although Cook is shiftier and a bigger threat as a receiver than Henry.

Finally, now that we're at the midpoint of the 2020 season (or past it in Chicago's case), what's the Bears mindset around the playoffs with a three-game slate of NFC North games coming up? The Bears host the Vikings and have a bye, then go to the Packers before hosting the Lions. Can they regain their early-season form and remain in the hunt for a playoff spot?

LM: The Bears aren't thinking about the playoffs or the Packers or the Lions. They're focused on Monday night's game against the Vikings, knowing that the only way they can begin to get their mojo back is with a win over Minnesota.