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Game Preview: Vikings at Bears

EAGAN, Minn. — The Vikings are facing an NFC North foe on the road for the second time in three weeks, traveling to Chicago for Sunday’s 3:25 p.m. (CT) game against the Bears at Soldier Field.

The venue has been one of the toughest places for Minnesota this millennium, with the Vikings going 3-15 against the Bears since 2001. Two of those victories have come during Head Coach Mike Zimmer’s tenure, and both were in seasons that the Vikings claimed the NFC North (2015 and 2017).

The Bears claimed last year’s game in the Windy City by a 25-20 margin on Sunday Night Football and went on to win the division.

Minnesota and Chicago are 2-1, tied for third place in the NFC North behind Green Bay (3-0) and Detroit (2-0-1).

The Vikings rank second in the NFL with 581 rushing yards and lead the league with seven scores on the ground, which is just two shy of the team’s total in 2018.

Dalvin Cook leads the NFL with 375 yards and ranks second with four scores on the ground. He has rushed for at least 110 yards in each game this season.

On defense, Minnesota is tied with Carolina for the most tackles for loss (19) this season. Danielle Hunter has recorded a sack in each game for 3.0 on the season.

TV BROADCAST

Note: This game has been cross-flexed to CBS, and a large part of the country will be able to tune-in via a variety of methods.

NATIONAL TV: CBS (WCCO in Minneapolis/St. Paul)

Play-by-Play: Jim Nantz

Analyst: Tony Romo

Sideline Reporter: Tracy Wolfson

LOCAL RADIO

RADIO: KFAN 100.3-FM/KTLK 1130-AM in Minneapolis/St. Paul

Play-by-Play: Paul Allen

Analyst: Pete Bercich

Sideline Reporters: Greg Coleman & Ben Leber

Radio Pre-game Show: Mike Mussman | 1:30 p.m. (CT)

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

SATELLITE RADIO

Sirius: MIN 108 or Streaming 819; CHI 82 or Streaming 805

XM: MIN Streaming 819; CHI 227 or Streaming 805

NATIONAL RADIO

SPORTS USA

Play-by-Play: Josh Appel

Analyst: Mark Carrier

Look back at photos over the course of time featuring games between the Vikings and the Bears.

STAT OF THE WEEK

The seven run plays of 20 or more yards by the Vikings are tied for third-most through three weeks of any NFL season since 1991.

NORSEMAN NOTES

The Vikings claimed their 500th victory on Sunday against Oakland (regular-season and postseason games included), improving to 500-427-11.

Mike Zimmer is 16-14-1 against NFC North teams as the Vikings head coach and is 6-4 against Chicago.

The Vikings haven’t allowed any points in the third quarter of any game this season. The Bears rank second in the NFL, having allowed just six combined points in third quarters this season.

Danielle Hunter is tied for second in the NFL with five tackles for loss.

Harrison Smith and Bills safety Jordan Poyer are the only two players in the NFL who have recorded at least 15 tackles, one tackle for loss, one forced fumble and one interception in 2019. Smith recorded his 21st career interception on Sunday, tying Antoine Winfield for ninth in Vikings history.

Minnesota’s 103 rush attempts through three games rank third this season and are the most by a Vikings team since 1988 (109).

Dalvin Cook has surpassed 100 yards from scrimmage in five of six games with Offensive Coordinator Kevin Stefanski calling plays.

Kyle Rudolph has 390 career receptions and needs four to pass receiver Sammy White for seventh in team history.

VIKINGS-BEARS CONNNECTIONS

Bears return specialist/receiver Cordarrelle Patterson played for the Vikings from 2013-16.

LOCAL CONNECTIONS

Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer is from Peoria, Illinois, and played collegiately at Illinois State.

Vikings WR Laquon Treadwell, who was re-signed this week, is from Crete, Illinois.

COACHING CONNECTIONS

Vikings assistant special teams coach Ryan Ficken played at Arizona State when Bears Offensive Coordinator Mark Helfrich was quarterbacks coach in 2001.

Vikings Special Teams Coordinator Marwan Maalouf worked in the same role at Indianapolis in 2012 when Bears Defensive Coordinator Chuck Pagano was head coach of the Colts. They also worked together in Baltimore from 2008-11.

Maalouf, running backs coach Kennedy Polamalu (2004), Defensive Coordinator George Edwards (2004) and defensive line coach Andre Patterson (2003-04) overlapped with Pagano (2001-04) in Cleveland. Polamalu played at USC (1982-85), overlapping with Pagano’s time as a graduate assistant.

Vikings receivers coach Drew Petzing worked as an operations intern for the Browns in 2013 when Chicago Special Teams Coordinator Chris Tabor was with Cleveland.

PROFESSIONAL CONNECTIONS

Vikings Assistant Head Coach/Offensive Advisor Gary Kubiak, offensive line coach and run game coordinator Rick Dennison and tight ends coach Brian Pariani were on the Ravens staff in 2014 when LS Patrick Scales was with Baltimore.

Minnesota Special Teams Coordinator Marwan Maalouf and Bears TE Bradley Sowell overlapped in Indianapolis in 2012.

Vikings P Britton Colquitt (2016-17) played for Bears Special Teams Coordinator Chris Tabor for two seasons in Cleveland. Colquitt teamed with Bears LB Danny Trevathan in Denver when Kubiak, Pariani and Dennison were on the Broncos staff.

Minnesota C Brett Jones (2015-17) and Linval Joseph (2010-13) played with Bears DB Prince Amukamara (2011-15) for the Giants.

Vikings T Rashod Hill, Amukamara and Bears Allen Robinson II were teammates in Jacksonville in 2016.

Minnesota DT Shamar Stephen teamed with Chicago RB Mike Davis in Seattle last season.

Vikings G Josh Kline and Bears DT Akiem Hicks teamed together in New England in 2015.

Minnesota RB Ameer Abdullah (2015-18) and T Riley Reiff (2012-16) were teammates of Cornelius Lucas (2014-16) in Detroit.

Vikings QB Sean Mannion (2015-18) was a teammate of Lucas (2017) and Bears DT Nick Williams (2018) with the Rams.

Minnesota G Dakota Dozier teamed with Chicago LB Kevin Pierre-Louis and DB Buster Skrine on the 2018 Jets.

COLLEGE CONNECTIONS

Minnesota RB Dalvin Cook and CB Xavier Rhodes and Chicago NT Eddie Goldman at Florida State

Vikings DT Jaleel Johnson and Bears OL James Daniels at Iowa

Minnesota C Brett Jones and Bears DT Akiem Hicks at Regina (Canada)

Vikings T Brian O’Neill and Bears TE J.P. Holtz at Pittsburgh

Minnesota TE Irv Smith, Jr., and Chicago S Eddie Jackson at Alabama

Vikings DE Tashawn Bower and Bears DB Kevin Toliver II at LSU

Minnesota CB Mike Hughes and Chicago QB Mitchell Trubisky at North Carolina before Hughes transferred to UCF

Vikings WR Stefon Diggs and Bears LB Josh Woods at Maryland

VIKINGS TOP PERFORMERS VS. BEARS

Offense

Kirk Cousins: 4 games (2-0 with Washington, 0-2 with Minnesota), 92-of-139 passing, 66.2 completion percentage, 964 passing yards, 5 passing TDs, 3 interceptions, 89.1 passer rating; 11 carries for 55 yards and 3 TDs

Kyle Rudolph: 15 games, 46 receptions, 403 yards, 4 TDs

Stefon Diggs: 7 games, 45 receptions, 468 yards, 7 TDs (he has at least one touchdown in six of seven games against the Bears)

Adam Thielen: 10 games, 28 receptions, 314 yards, 1 TD

Defense

Anthony Harris: 5 games, 26 tackles (league stats), 2 INTs, FR, 4 PBU

Harrison Smith: 12 games, 66 tackles (league stats), 4 INTs, FR, INT return TD

View photos of the Vikings 53-man roster for the 2019 season.

VIKINGS BIG DAYS VS. BEARS

Kyle Rudolph: set a career-high with 11 receptions in Minnesota on Jan. 1, 2017 (2016 regular-season finale)

Stefon Diggs: 13 receptions for 126 yards and 1 TD at Chicago on Nov. 18, 2018

Adam Thielen: 3 receptions for 68 yards and first career TD (44 yards) in Minnesota on Dec. 28, 2015

Anthony Harris: 2 interceptions at Chicago on Nov. 18, 2018

Harrison Smith: 56-yard interception return for a touchdown (second score of career) in Minnesota on Dec. 9, 2012

Marcus Sherels: 65-yard punt return touchdown (third of career) at Chicago on Nov. 1, 2015

VIKINGS-BEARS SERIES NOTES

1. The Vikings hold a 60-54-2 edge in 116 contests that includes a win by the Bears in the only postseason meeting between the franchises. Minnesota is 4-1 in the series when games have gone to overtime.

2. The series began literally when the Vikings began. Minnesota shocked the football world with a 37-13 win over Chicago at Metropolitan Stadium in the Vikings inaugural game (Sept. 17, 1961). Rookie QB Fran Tarkenton threw for four scores and rushed for another after coming off the bench.

3. The two longest pass plays in Vikings history have been executed against the Bears: Bernard Berrian caught a 99-yard pass from Gus Frerotte at the Metrodome on Nov. 30, 2008; and Charley Ferguson caught an 89-yard pass from Fran Tarkenton at Wrigley Field on Nov. 11, 1962.

Longest Vikings winning streak in series: 8 games (Dec. 3, 1972 through Oct. 10, 1976)

Longest Vikings losing streak in series: 6 games two times (Dec. 11, 1983 through Oct. 5, 1986 and Dec. 28, 2009 through Nov. 25, 2012)

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