EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. —Brian Robison held court with the Twin Cities media for nearly 20 minutes at his locker Thursday afternoon.
When the Vikings defensive end was asked about Minnesota's upcoming *Monday Night Football *matchup against the Bears, Robison clearly pointed out an area where the defense must be strong.
"We have to be good against their run game," Robison said. "They've got some backs that can hit the gap, they do a lot of good things up front with their offensive line as well.
"When you look at a lot of their run game clips, you don't understand how they haven't won more games," he added.
Chicago has lost three in a row and sits at 1-6 on the season. The Vikings suffered their first loss last Sunday and are 5-1.
Robison said Bears running backs Jordan Howard and Jeremy Langford present a challenge for opposing defenses.
Howard, a rookie, has 73 carries for 352 yards and a touchdown. He's seen a bigger role of late because Langford has missed the past four games with an ankle injury. Langford, who returned to practice this week, has 31 carries for 116 yards and a pair of scores.
Chicago ranks 25th in the league at 87.9 yards per game, but the Vikings are still wary of their ground game.
"When you look at it, Langford in way is a little bit quicker and more of a guy that can slice and dice through the holes and being able to make cutbacks and things like that," Robison said
"When you look at Howard, he's a pretty big pack, he's powerful.
"So they do bring different elements even though they're similar in a lot of ways," he added.
Robison said both backs have power and speed, and that Chicago's offensive line is sound with its blocking schemes.
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer said people might be down on Chicago's offense because they're last in league by averaging 15.9 points per game. But Zimmer has found plenty to watch out for Monday night.
"They've moved the ball offensively but they haven't scored very many touchdowns and very many points," Zimmer said. "They've had the lead in three out of the six losses in the fourth quarter and didn't finish the game.
"Like a lot of young teams and programs, I think they're trying to figure out how to finish games," he added.
The Vikings rank third in the NFL by allowing just 81.7 rushing yards per game. Robison said his unit will be fired up to get back on the winning track Monday night.
"Everybody is going to think it's the end of the world because we lost one game," Robison said. "We don't really care what people are saying about us, we're going to go to business as usual.
"We're going to go out here and practice hard, we're going to everything we need to put ourselves in a successful position on Monday," he added.
Vikings looking for more success in Windy City
As the Vikings get ready to face the Bears on Halloween night, plenty of players are aware that Soldier Field has been a house or horrors of sorts for Minnesota.
Before beating the Bears in Chicago last season, the Vikings hadn't won at Soldier Field since 2007. Minnesota rallied from a seven-point deficit with less than
five minutes left. Stefon Diggs tied the game at 20 with a 40-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown and Blair Walsh hit a 36-yard field goal as time expired.
"It's a very hostile environment. You've got to take their crowd out of it early," Robison said. "At the end of the day, we've obviously had our struggles there over the last 10 years or so.
"But it doesn't matter what's happened in the past, we've got to move forward and make sure we get a win," Robison said.
Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph said the Vikings are eager to play again after suffering their first loss of the season Sunday on Philadelphia.
"We have a division road opponent on Monday Night Football," Rudolph said. "Anyone who has been around knows the struggles we have at Soldier Field.
"We're going to have to go there and get back on track," he added.
The Vikings are 57-51-2 all-time against the Bears, which includes a 22-30-2 record in Chicago.
Robison said the fact that Monday is Halloween will only add to the fun.
"We'll definitely see a bunch of crazies in the stands this week," Robison said. "We can't let that stuff distract us. A lot of times people dress up like that distract you over the game.
"We just have to concentrate on what's going on between the sidelines," he added.
View images from the Vikings Thursday, Oct. 27 practice at Winter Park.
The Vikings and Bears have released their first official injury reports of the week, and a whopping 25 players combined between the two squads appear on the report.
For the Vikings: Cordarrelle Patterson (concussion), Marcus Sherels (wrist), Jerick McKinnon (ankle), Andrew Sendejo (ankle) and Sharrif Floyd (knee) did not participate. Audie Cole (finger), Alex Boone (shoulder/knee), MyCole Pruitt (knee), Jarius Wright (ankle) and Zac Kerin (hand) were limited. Laquon Treadwell (thumb), Anthony Barr (ankle) and Jeremiah Sirles (knee) fully participated.
For the Bears: DB Bryce Callahan (hamstring), DT Eddie Goldman (ankle), DB Deiondre' Hall (ankle), LB Nick Kwiatkowski (illness), G Kyle Long (tricep), WR Eddie Royal (toe), G Josh Sitton (ankle) and LB Danny Trevathan (illness) did not participate. RB Jeremy Langford (ankle), LB Pernell McPhee (knee), WR Cameron Meredith (shoulder) and DB Tracy Porter (knee) were limited.