The Vikings (5-3-1) enter Week 11 having won four of the past five contests. Minnesota will travel to Soldier Field to face the NFC North-leading Chicago Bears (6-3) on Sunday Night Football. The Vikings are coming off their bye week. The Bears defeated the Lions 34-22. Both teams have played only two division games in 2018 and will have four NFC contests in the final seven weeks of the season.
Despite missing several starters through the first nine games, the Vikings defense has allowed 322.2 yards per game, the fifth-lowest average in the NFL, and is coming off its most dominating performance of the season vs. Detroit in Week 9.
Vikings DE Danielle Hunter, who is second in the NFL with 11.5 sacks, set a new single-game career high with 3.5 sacks against the Lions, powering the defense to a new single-game team record 10 sacks.
The defensive unit has been particularly stout since a win at Philadelphia in Week 5, allowing only 274.8 yards per game and securing 20 sacks over the past five games, ranking third and second in the NFL in that span, respectively.
Minnesota's offense ranks 12th in the NFL in total yards (374.3 per game through nine games).
Vikings QB Kirk Cousins has thrown for 2,685 yards, the seventh-highest total in the NFL, and his 102.2 passer rating is ninth-best in the NFL.
WR Adam Thielen is on a record-breaking pace, having recorded 78 receptions (tied for first in the NFL), the second-most in NFL history through the first nine games of a season. Thielen's 947 receiving yards is third in the NFL, and his seven receiving touchdowns are tied for fifth. Thielen and Stefon Diggs, who is tied for 10th in the NFL with 58 receptions, are the only WR duo in the league to rank in the top 10 in catches this season. The Vikings WR corps leads all WR groups with 174 receptions in 2018.
NBC (KARE in Minneapolis/St. Paul)
Play-by-Play: Al Michaels
Analyst: Cris Collinsworth
Sideline Reporter: Michele Tafoya
KFAN-FM 100.3/KTLK-AM 1130
Play-by-Play: Paul Allen
Analyst: Pete Bercich
Sideline Reporters: Greg Coleman and Ben Leber
Pre-Game Show: Mike Mussman – 5 p.m. (CT) [6 p.m. throughout the Vikings Radio Network]
KFAN and KTLK serve as the flagship stations for the five-state Vikings Radio Network.
Play-by-Play: Kevin Kugler
Analyst: Jason Taylor
Sirius: 81 or Streaming 819 (MIN); 83 or Streaming 805 (CHI)
XM: 226 or Streaming 819 (MIN); 225 or Streaming 805 (CHI)
WR Adam Thielen has totaled eight games with at least 100 receiving yards, tying Randy Moss — eight in 2003, eight in 2000 — for the most in a single season in Vikings history.
Both WRs Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen have three games with at least 10 receptions this season, trailing only Cris Carter in 1994 (four) and 1995 (four) for the most games with 10-plus catches in a single season.
Against the Lions, RB Dalvin Cook registered a career-long 70-yard run in his first game since Week 4, the third-longest run in the NFL this season and the longest for the Vikings since Adrian Peterson's 80-yard run in 2015.
TE Kyle Rudolph has started a league-leading (among TEs) 58 consecutive games, which is the longest streak for any TE all-time in Vikings team history. His 17 touchdown catches since the start of the 2016 season are tied for third-most among all TEs.
Through nine games, Harrison Smith has three interceptions and 3.0 sacks, becoming the first in the NFL since Landon Collins and Ryan Shazier in 2016 to record at least three interceptions and 3.0 sacks in a single season.
QB Kirk Cousins' 2,685 passing yards are the second-most passing yards through the first nine games of a season in team history. Cousins needs 261 yards to set the team record for the most passing yards through 10 games to start a season.
Despite missing a game, WR Stefon Diggs' 58 receptions are tied for 10th in the NFL this season and the seventh-most in team history through the first nine games of a season.
Rudolph (356 receptions) ranks eighth all-time in team history, and Diggs (258 receptions) and Thielen (258 receptions) are tied for 14th all-time in Vikings history in career receptions.
The Vikings have allowed only two runs of 15 or more yards in 2018, the fewest in the NFL.
Minnesota's defense leads the NFL with an allowance rate of 25.7 percent on third downs this season.
STAT OF THE WEEK
The Vikings defense is tied for the NFL lead in sacks with 31, which is the most through nine games to start a season since Head Coach Mike Zimmer took over in 2014 and is tied for the sixth-most in franchise history through the first nine games.
1t. Vikings, 31
1t. Packers, 31
1t. Steelers, 31
1t. Chiefs, 31
5. Bears, 30
Vikings GM Rick Spielman served as the Bears Director of Pro Personnel from 1997-99. Vikings Assistant General Manager George Paton also served on the Bears staff alongside Spielman.
Vikings G Tom Compton played for the Bears during the 2017 season, appearing in 11 games with five starts.
Vikings Head Athletic Trainer Eric Sugarman interned with the Bears athletic training staff from 1993-95 and served as the Bears Assistant Athletic Trainer from 1997-99.
Vikings Assistant Athletic Trainer Rob Roche was a training camp intern for the Bears from 1998-99.
Vikings Assistant Athletic Trainer/Physical Therapist David Jantzi is a former Athletic Trainer for the Chicago Bears.
Vikings College Scout/Regional Pat Roberts interned with the Bears in 1998 and was the Bears Northeast Area Scout (1999-2003) before moving to the Southeast Area in 2004.
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer was born in Peoria, Illinois, and attended Lockport Township High School in suburban Chicago. Zimmer played QB and later LB at Illinois State (1974-77).
Vikings CB Trae Waynes is a native of Kenosha, Wisconsin, which is located 65 miles north of Chicago.
Vikings WR Chad Beebe attended Aurora Christian HS in Aurora, Illinois, prior to attending Northern Illinois University in DeKalb.
Bears defensive line coach Jay Rodgers was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, while his father, Randy, worked at Inver Hills Community College in Inver Grove Heights.
Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Mike Priefer coached special teams at Northern Illinois (2000-01).
Vikings Assistant Athletic Trainer Rob Roche earned his degree at University of Illinois.
Vikings Ring of Honor member and College Scout/Regional Scott Studwell played LB for University of Illinois.
Bears DT Eddie Goldman was teammates with Vikings CB Xavier Rhodes at Florida State. Goldman was also a teammate with Vikings RB Dalvin Cook for the 2014 season at FSU.
Vikings G Danny Isidora (2012-16) was teammates at Miami with Bears S Deon Bush (2012-15) and P Pat O'Donnell (2013).
Vikings CB Trae Waynes and Bears TE Dion Sims were teammates at Michigan State for the 2012 season.
Bears OL James Daniels and Vikings DT Jaleel Johnson were teammates at Iowa from 2015-16.
VIKINGS TOP PERFORMERS VS. BEARS
Latavius Murray: 3 games, 47 carries, 191 yards, 2 TDs
Stefon Diggs: 5 games, 18 receptions, 295 receiving yards, 5 TDs
Kyle Rudolph: 13 games, 40 receptions, 371 yards, 4 TDs
Danielle Hunter: 4 games, 19 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 5 TFL, 6 QB hits
Harrison Smith: 10 games, 52 tackles, 2 TFL, 4 INT, 6 PD; 56-yard interception return TD
VIKINGS BIG DAYS VS. BEARS
S Harrison Smith scored his second NFL TD when he returned an interception 56 yards vs. Chicago. (Dec. 9, 2012). Smith has four career interceptions against the Bears.
RB Latavius Murray rushed for 111 yards and 2 TDs on 20 carries vs. Chicago (Dec. 31, 2017) last season.
TE Kyle Rudolph set career highs in receptions (11) and receiving yards (117) vs. Chicago (Jan. 1, 2017) in 2016.
DE Danielle Hunter had 1.5 sacks vs. Chicago (Dec. 20, 2015) in his first game with more than a single sack. Hunter has 3.0 sacks in six career games against the Bears.
CB Marcus Sherels returned a punt 65 yards for a TD at Chicago (Nov. 1, 2015) for his third career PR TD. Sherels has added two more since for a team-record five in his career.
WR Stefon Diggs had six receptions for 95 yards, including a game-tying 40-yard TD catch with two minutes remaining at Chicago (Nov. 1, 2015). Diggs also recorded his first of three career games with multiple TDs (on Dec. 20, 2015 against).
WR Adam Thielen scored his first career offensive touchdown on a 44-yard catch vs. Chicago (Dec. 28, 2014) and finished with three receptions for 68 yards.
VIKINGS-BEARS SERIES NOTES
The Vikings and Bears have played 114 times with Minnesota holding a 60-52-2 series record.
The Vikings have swept the season series four times since 2000 (2000, 2007, 2015 and 2017).
The Vikings and Bears have played five overtime games in series history, with Minnesota holding a 4-1 advantage in those games.