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Game Preview: Vikings at Bears

The Minnesota Vikings (2-2) travel in Week 5 for their first road division game of the season vs. the Chicago Bears (1-3) at Soldier Field. The game is the second of three straight NFC North games for the Vikings and the second of the season on Monday Night Football after playing Week 1 at home, a 29-19 victory over the New Orleans Saints.

The Bears are coming off a 35-14 loss at Green Bay on Thursday night in Week 4, and the Vikings dropped a home contest to the Detroit Lions, 14-7.  The Bears are 1-1 at home, and the Vikings are 0-1 on the road during the 2017 campaign.

The Vikings offense, ranking seventh in the NFL with 371.3 yards per game, has been led by WRs Stefon Diggs, who is first in the NFL with 391 receiving yards, and Adam Thielen, who is third in the NFL with 358 receiving yards. The passing attack that ranks 10th in the NFL with 275.3 yards per game and has accounted for six touchdowns, no interceptions and a passer rating of 115.4, fifth-best in the NFL. QBs Sam Bradfordand Case Keenum have both posted games of 340-plus passing yards and three-plus touchdowns with no interceptions, making only the Vikings and Patriots (Tom Brady twice) as teams to have two such games this season. Rookie RB *Dalvin Cook, who is third in the NFL with 354 rushing yards, was diagnosed with a torn ACL, ending his rookie season after 4 games.

The Vikings run defense has held opponents to 71.3 yards per game (fourth in the NFL), 3.0 yards per rush (fourth in the NFL). DE Everson Griffen secured a sack in his fourth straight game to start the season, becoming one of three defenders in the NFL to do so (Demarcus Lawrence, DAL & Preston Smith, WAS). Griffen is fourth in the NFL with 5.0 sacks this season. DE Danielle Hunter, who led the Vikings in sacks in 2016, registered his first sacks of the season by taking down Matthew Stafford twice in Week 4. The Vikings totaled six sacks against Detroit, the 10th time under Zimmer they have recorded 5 sacks in a single game. BROADCAST COVERAGE

NATIONAL TELEVISION: ESPN

Play-by-Play:Sean McDonough, Analyst: Jon Gruden

Sideline:Lisa Salters

NATIONAL RADIO: WESTWOOD ONE SPORTS

Play-by-Play:Kevin Harlan, Analyst: Boomer Esiason

Sideline:Scott Kaplan

LOCAL RADIO: KFAN-FM 100.3/KTLK-AM 1130

Play-by-Play: Paul Allen, Analyst: Pete Bercich

Sideline Reporter: Greg Coleman

Pre-Game Show: Mike Mussman – 4:30 p.m. CT

KFAN and KTLK serve as the flagship stations for the 72-station, five-state Vikings Radio Network.

NORSEMAN NOTABLES

WR Stefon Diggs(391)* *and WR *Adam Thielen *(358) rank first and third in the NFL in receiving yards, marking the first time since the 2010 Colts that two of the top three receiving yardage leaders are on the same team after Week 4 - Reggie Wayne (first-456) and Austin Collie (third-398).

The Vikings offense has converted 24 third downs, tied for seventh in the NFL and has converted on 46.2 percent (24/52) of their third downs, fifth in the NFL.

Vikings DE Everson Griffenhas nine career 2-plus sack games and seven since becoming a full-time starter in 2014, tied for fifth in the NFL in that span.

The Vikings punt coverage unit ranks first in the NFL, holding opponents to minus-1 punt return yards, the third-best mark in the NFL through 4 weeks to start a season since 1970. It trails the 1970 St. Louis Cardinals (-7) and 1972 Washington Redskins (-2).

In Week 1 vs. New Orleans on MNF, TE Kyle Rudolphcaught his 30th career touchdown, extending franchise record for career touchdown receptions among TEs.

The Vikings defense has held opponents to 25.6 percent (11/43) on third downs this season, the best in mark in the NFL.

QB Case Keenum became the second QB in franchise history (Tommy Kramer, 12/14/80 vs. Cleveland — 38/49, 77.5 percent, 456 yards, four touchdowns, no interceptions) to have 75-plus completion percentage, 360-plus passing yards, three-plus touchdowns and no interceptions in a single game. Keenum finished with 369 passing yards on 25-of-33 passing (75.8 percent) with three touchdowns vs. Tampa Bay.

STAT OF THE WEEK

The Vikings WR duo of Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen lead the NFL in 20 yard receptions in 2017 and rank at the top among former Vikings greats through the 1st 4 weeks of the season.

Since 1991 – Vikings 20 yard receptions – Weeks 1-4

Stefon Diggs, 2017 (8)

Randy Moss, 2003 (8)

Jake Reed, 1996 (8)

3t) Adam Thielen, 2017 (7)

3t) Cris Carter, 1999 (7)

VIKINGS-BEARS CONNECTIONS

Vikings GM Rick Spielman served as the Bears Director of Pro Personnel from 1997-99. Vikings Assistant General Manager George Patonalso served on the Bears staff alongside Spielman.

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 Aathletic trainer Rob Rochewas a training camp intern for the Bears from 1998-99.

Vikings college scout/regional Pat Robertsinterned with the Bears in 1998 and from 1999-2003, he was the Bears Northeast area scout before moving to the Southeast area in 2004.

Bears Offensive Coordinator Dowell Loggains and QBs coach Dave Ragonecoached on the same staff as Vikings DBs coach Jerry Gray and assistant DBs coach *Jonathan Gannon with the Tennessee Titans.

Local Connections

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).

Bears ST coordinator Jeff Rodgersand DL Coach** ay Rodgers *were both born in Saint Paul, Minnesota, while their father, Randy, worked at Inver Hills Community College in Inver Grove Heights, Minnesota.

Vikings ST 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 Studwellplayed LB for University of Illinois. 

College Connections

Bears LB Christian Jones and DT Eddie Goldman were 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.

Monday's game features four former Miami Hurricanes: Vikings WR Stacey Coley (2013-16), Vikings G Danny Isidora (2012-16), Bears S Deon Bush (2012-15) and Bears P Pat O'Donnell (2013).

Vikings CB Trae Waynesand Bears TE **Dion Sims *were teammates at Michigan State for the 2012 season.

BIG DAYS

DE Brian Robison recovered a fumble and returned it 61 yards for a touchdown on 9/15/13. The play was Robison's first career touchdown and his longest fumble recovery return. Robison has sacked four different Bears QBs on his 6.0 sacks against Chicago — David Fales, Jay Cutler, Josh McCown & Kyle Orton.

S Harrison Smith scored his second NFL touchdown as he returned an interception 56 yards (12/9/12). Smith has three career interceptions vs. the Bears.

QB Sam Bradfordthrew for 250 yards, three touchdowns and an interception (114.5 passer rating) vs. Chicago (1/1/17) last season.

TE Kyle Rudolph set career highs in receptions (11) and receiving yards (117) vs. Chicago (1/1/17) last season.

DE Danielle Hunterhad 1.5 sacks vs. Chicago (12/20/15), his first game with more than 1 sack in his short career. Hunter has 3.0 sacks in four career games against the Bears.

CB Marcus Sherelsreturned a punt 65 yards for a touchdown at Chicago (11/1/15) his third career punt return touchdown, and he has since added two more, giving him a team-record five in his career. 

WR Stefon Diggshad six receptions for 95 yards, including a game-tying 40-yard touchdown catch with two minutes remaining at Chicago (11/1/15). Diggs also recorded his first of three career games with multiple touchdowns vs. Chicago (12/20/15). 

WR Adam Thielenscored his first career offensive touchdown on a 44-yard catch vs. Chicago (12/28/15) and finished with three receptions for 68 yards.

Stefon Diggs: 3 games, 17 receptions, 226 yards, 4 TDs

Danielle Hunter: 4 games, 14 tackles, 3.0 sacks, 5 TFL, 6 QB hurries

Harrison Smith: 8 games, 50 tackles, 1 TFL, 3 INTs, 3 PD, 3 QB hurries

Brian Robison: 16 games, 30 tackles, 6.0 sacks, 3 FFs, 4 TFL, 15 QB hurries

Kyle Rudolph: 11 games, 33 receptions, 232 yards, 3 TDs

SERIES INFO

Record vs. Bears: Vikings 58-52-2

Last regular season game: Vikings 38, Bears 10 (2017)

Vikings largest winning margin: 31; Vikings 31, Bears 0 (1969)

Bears largest winning margin:31, Twice; (1984 & 1989)

Current series streak:Vikings 1

Vikings longest win streak:8, (1972-76)

Bears longest win streak:6, Twice; (1983-86) (2009-2012)

Most Points, Vikings: 48, (1998)

Most Points, Bears:52, (1961)

Most Points, both teams:89; Bears 48, Vikings 41(2008)

Fewest Points, Vikings: 0, Twice; (1962 & 1986)

Fewest Points,  Bears: 0, Twice; (1969 & 1974)

Fewest Points, both teams:13; Bears 13, Vikings 0 (1962)

Series Notes

The Vikings and Bears have played 112 times, with Minnesota holding a 58-52-2 series record.

The last time the Vikings and Bears met in Chicago on Monday Night Football in back-to-back seasons was 1992-93.

The Vikings and Bears have played five overtime games in series history, with Minnesota holding a 4-1 advantage in those games.

The Vikings and Bears have met 13 times on MNF, with Chicago holding the advantage 7-6.

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