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Opposing Viewpoint: Bears Writer Answers 5 Questions About Chicago

The Vikings are headed to Chicago in search of a pivotal win against a division rival.

Both Minnesota and Chicago are 2-1 (with the lone loss coming in the division), meaning Sunday's game is a chance for one team to avoid going into an 0-2 hole in NFC North play.

Kickoff between the Vikings and Bears is at 3:25 p.m. (CT) from Soldier Field.

And while there has been plenty of coverage on the Purple this week, Vikings.com chatted with Bears reporter Larry Mayer for a glance at what the other side is thinking before Sunday's contest.

Here is the Week 4 edition of Opposing Viewpoint:

We'll start with the defenses with this one, since both sides are stacked. Are you expecting a low-scoring, defensive slugfest on Sunday?

Larry Mayer: Given that it is a matchup of two of the NFL's top defenses, the game figures to be a low-scoring affair. But great defenses generate takeaways, creating short fields for their offenses, and even score touchdowns themselves. So, you just never know. Last year's game between the teams is a perfect example when both scored at least 20 points in a Bears' 25-20 win at Soldier Field. Plus, both offenses in Sunday's game have multiple playmakers capable of getting into the end zone.

Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had his best outing Monday night. Do you feel like he's becoming more comfortable in Matt Nagy's system as the season goes on?

LM: With quarterback Mitchell Trubisky in his second season working with coach Matt Nagy, the quarterback's increased familiarity with the system was first evident during offseason practices. Nagy has said multiple times that Trubisky's comfort level with the offense has reached a point where he can now spend his time at the line of scrimmage reading the defense instead of focusing on where his teammates are lined up on the field.

Vikings fans will remember Cordarrelle Patterson as a Pro Bowl kick returner. How have the Bears utilized him in their offense so far in 2019?

LM: With the NFL's kickoff rules, Patterson has not gotten many opportunities to show his return skills on special teams. But the Bears love his versatility on offense and have handed the ball off to him and thrown it to him as well. As Vikings fans know, he's big, strong and fast. His 46-yard run in a Week 2 win over the Broncos in Denver sparked the Bears offense and remains the team's longest play from scrimmage this season.

Both teams have had their ups and downs on special teams in recent years. Has Eddy Pineiro seemed to solidify the kicker spot so far?

LM: The Bears' biggest storyline of the offseason involved finding a kicker to replace Cody Parkey, and the Bears are confident that they've found their man in Eddy Pineiro. He possesses excellent leg strength and accuracy, as well as a swagger unusual for kickers that has endeared him to teammates. Pineiro hurt his knee last week but fought through the pain to make 5-of-6 kicks in a Week 3 win over the Redskins.

Both teams sit at 2-1 but are tied for third in the division early on, and both already have a division loss. How pivotal is Sunday's matchup to stay in the race for the NFC North?

LM: It's pivotal because there's always a two-game swing in division contests. But it's still very early in the season, and there's a lot of football to be played. Plus Green Bay's Thursday night loss at home to the Eagles brings the Packers back closer to the Bears and Vikings, both of whom have already lost to Green Bay.

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