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Early Look: Vikings at Bears

EAGAN, Minn. — Welcome back to NFC North play, where the Vikings have one of their toughest road trips of the season on deck.

The Vikings travel to Chicago in Week 4, a place where Minnesota has two wins in its past 11 trips to Solider Field. Kickoff is at 3:25 p.m. (CT).

Minnesota is 2-1 on the season following a convincing 34-14 home win over the Raiders in Week 3. Chicago is also 2-1 after the Bears topped Washington on Monday Night Football.

Both teams will be looking for a crucial division win as Green Bay is 3-0 and has wins over Chicago and Minnesota. Detroit is also unbeaten on the year at 2-0-1.

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

Here’s a look at the Vikings Week 4 matchup against Chicago:

Passing: Kirk Cousins turned in an effective outing against Oakland, getting help from the run game and an offensive line that did not allow a sack.

Cousins completed 15 of 21 passes for 174 yards and a touchdown, as the score came on Minnesota’s opening drive of the game. His touchdown pass came on a play-action rollout, as Cousins performed well on the move all game.

He has completed 37 of 63 passes (58.2 percent) for 502 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions through the first three games in 2019. He has a passer rating of 86.9.

Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky had his best game of the season, completing 25 of 31 passes for 231 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. His passer rating was 116.5.

Trubisky, the No. 2 overall pick in 2017, has completed 67 of 103 passes (65 percent) for 579 yards with three touchdowns and two picks so far in 2019.

Rushing: The NFL’s leading rusher turned in another impressive outing Sunday, as Dalvin Cook rushed for 110 yards and a touchdown on just 16 carries.

Cook is atop the league with 375 rushing yards and is averaging a league-best 6.6 yards per carry. Cook’s four rushing touchdowns rank second.

Minnesota rushed for 211 yards as a team against Oakland, the fifth-highest output under Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer. The Vikings rank second in the NFL with 581 rushing yards.

Alexander Mattison added 58 yards and his first-career score on 12 attempts, and Mike Boone added 28 yards on three carries.

The Vikings have improved their rushing output in each of the first three games in 2019, going for 172 yards in Week 1 and 198 yards in Week 2.

Chicago currently ranks 21st in rushing yards with 96.3 per game.

Rookie David Montgomery ran for 67 of Chicago’s 90 yards Monday night. He had a team-high 13 carries.

Former Vikings Cordarrelle Patterson had four rushes for 14 yards, bringing his season total to 62 yards on seven attempts (8.9 yards per carry) that is boosted by a 46-yarder at Denver.

Montgomery leads the Bears with 147 yards and has Chicago’s lone rushing touchdown.

Receiving: Rookie tight end Irv Smith, Jr. led the Vikings with 60 receiving yards Sunday as he hauled in three catches.

Adam Thielen also had three catches, including a 35-yard score, as he totaled 55 receiving yards. Thielen also added the first rushing touchdown of his career.

Cook (four catches for 33 yards) and Stefon Diggs (three catches for 15 yards) also chipped in with the passing game.

The Vikings have not had a 100-yard receiver yet in 2019. Thielen leads Minnesota with 11 receptions for 173 yards and two scores, while Diggs has six receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown.

Taylor Gabriel led Chicago with six catches for 75 yards Monday night, and also set a career-high with three touchdowns. Allen Robinson added six receptions for 60 yards.

Robinson leads the Bears with 17 catches for 203 yards, and Tarik Cohen has 12 receptions for 82 yards. Gabriel has nine catches for 110 yards and three scores.

Defense: The Vikings defense made plays all over the field Sunday, as each level of the unit turned in strong performances.

Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter each notched a sack as the defensive line also limited the Raiders to just 88 rushing yards. Eric Kendricks and Eric Wilson stepped up at linebacker with Anthony Barr out with an injury, as Wilson notched a pair of sacks.

Harrison Smith notched an interception off Oakland quarterback Derek Carr. Smith’s 21st career interception moved him into a tie with Antoine Winfield for ninth all-time in franchise history.

After three games, Minnesota is tied for fifth in points per game (15.7) and ranks 12th by allowing 327.3 yards per game.

Chicago boasts an equally strong defense, as the Bears rank third in points allowed per game (13.0) and are eighth in yards allowed per game (313.7).

The Bears defense had an impressive performance Monday, causing five turnovers, including a pick-six by safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. Chicago picked off Washington quarterback Case Keenum three times and recovered two of his three fumbles.

Khalil Mack had two of Chicago’s four sacks and forced two fumbles Monday. He leads the team with 3.0 sacks on the season.

Kyle Fuller and Clinton-Dix each have a pair of interceptions this season.

Special teams: Vikings kicker Dan Bailey had a perfect day Sunday, nailing a pair of field goals (24 and 50 yards) and adding four extra points. He also recorded touchbacks on all seven of his kickoffs.

Punter Britton Colquitt only punted twice, averaging 47.5 yards per attempt. Chad Beebe had 21 yards on three punt returns, but did muff an attempt. Ameer Abdullah had one kick return for 25 yards and provided solid punt coverage once again.

Bears kicker Eddy Pineiro missed from 44 yards and was good on a 38-yard attempt on Monday. He added four extra points. He has made five of six field goals and all five of his extra point attempts in 2019.

Chicago punter Pat O’Donnell is averaging 48.0 yards per punt this season with a net average of 43.6.

Patterson, who was a Pro Bowl kick returner in Minnesota, is averaging 26.0 yards per kickoff return on two attempts.

A storied history

Sunday marks the 117th overall meeting between the Vikings and Bears. Minnesota has only played Green Bay more times in team history.

The Vikings are 60-54-2 in franchise history against the Bears, which includes one playoff game that Chicago won.

Minnesota was swept by Chicago in 2018, the first time that happened since the 2011 season.

The Bears went 12-4 and won the division in 2018.

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