It’s a historic division showdown on Sunday Night Football with first place in the NFC North on the line.
Yes, it will be worth tuning in for the clash between the Vikings and Bears at Soldier Field.
ESPN writer Mike Sando took a look at the best games of the Week 11 slate around the NFL and included the matchup between Minnesota and Chicago as a key game to watch.
Sando chatted with three insiders around the league, with two of them picking the Vikings to pull ahead in the division race after Sunday night’s game.
The Bears are 5-0 against teams that had losing records at kickoff. No other team has played or won so many games against losing teams. Chicago's 1-2 record against winning teams included a victory over a Tampa Bay team that was about to fall off a cliff, a road defeat against a Miami team with Brock Osweiler at quarterback and a close home loss to New England.
This means Chicago has a prime opportunity to collect its most impressive victory when Minnesota visits Soldier Field.
"[Bears head coach Matt] Nagy does a really good job game-planning, and they will do some things to beat that Cover 2ish-type defense," the insider picking the Bears said. "They have the tools -- the tight end who is pretty explosive [Trey Burton], the back [Tarik Cohen] who is explosive and then some receivers who are starting to come along with Allen Robinson returning and [Anthony] Miller figuring it out. Throw in Khalil Mack returning to the defense, and I'll take Chicago at home."
The pair of insiders that picked Minnesota said the Vikings will be rested up and well-prepared for what the Bears offense will throw at them.
"Chicago's formula on offense is [Mitch] Trubisky running and the backs running, and lower-risk passes like screens and inside-breaking routes," an insider picking Minnesota said. "Minnesota's defense is so fast that I don't think Trubisky's running will tip the scales. He is going to have to throw. With a bye week to prepare, Minnesota's defenders should be draped on those routes, which increases the degree of difficulty and makes this matchup so intriguing."
The third insider called Chicago a "pretty dynamic" team, but with so much excitement surrounding the Bears following their 6-3 start, he thought there was a good chance for this to be a statement game by Minnesota that resets the divisional hierarchy.
"To me, this is a Trubisky-has-two-interceptions type of game and comes back to reality a little bit," this insider said, "but it's a great opportunity for Chicago to show otherwise."
The Vikings have won two of their past three trips to Soldier Field, including a 20-17 win over the Bears in 2017.
Sando also took a look at the Packers-Seahawks, Cowboys-Falcons, Titans-Colts and Chiefs-Rams games.
View images from the Vikings practice in preparation for the Chicago Bears at the TCO Performance Center on Wednesday, November 14.
Coller: Vikings could choose to blitz Trubisky
Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has taken a major step forward in his second NFL season.
Trubisky, who was the second overall pick of the 2017 NFL Draft, has thrown for 2,304 yards with 19 touchdowns and seven interceptions in 2018. The quarterback has surpassed his passing yardage from 2017, when he started 12 games.
Matthew Coller of 1500ESPN.com recently wrote that one way the Vikings could try to get Trubisky off his game Sunday night is to blitz him.
According to Pro Football Focus, his rating is 106.4 when the opponent does not blitz and 89.9 when facing a blitz. Trubisky sees a drop of nearly 18 percent in completion percentage against an extra rusher. On 100 dropbacks against the blitz, the top pick in the ’17 draft has only 45 completions (per Pro Football Focus). Another interesting note is that PFF credits Trubisky with seven sacks allowed and Chicago’s O-line with five.
While the Vikings have not had much success against quality offenses this year — the highest rated offense in a win this year is 20th — Trubisky’s struggles against the blitz have the potential to play into Mike Zimmer’s hands.
Over his career in Minnesota, Zimmer has generally dominated inexperienced quarterbacks, in part because of his pressures in key situations, especially third downs.
Coller calculated that the Vikings blitzed Trubisky 18 times in two games last season as the quarterback completed six total passes.