Why Vikings Are Strong Play as Road Underdog vs. Bears

National Anthem before a NFL football game against the Chicago Bears on Sunday Nov. 11 2018 in Minneapolis

Vikings Coach Zimmer Previews Sunday's Game vs. 1st Place Bears

They beat the Bears 20-17 at Soldier Field last season after Case Keenum replaced Sam Bradford and never looked back.

The Bears have not played a game this meaningful this late in the season in almost five years, not since Marc Trestman's first team went into the 2013 season finale needing a victory at home against the Packers to claim the NFC North title (they lost).

Chicago coach Matt Nagy's scheme uses a lot of pre-snap motions by running backs and wide receivers created to confuse the defense.

Throughout the year, they have dealt with a number of absences, from Everson Griffen to Dalvin Cook to Anthony Barr and most recently Stefon Diggs, who missed the team's last game against the Detroit Lions with a rib injury. Both teams have playoff-caliber defenses.

They're going to need some firepower to get past Chicago.

The Bears are 1-1 in prime-time games this season, losing the opener to the Packers and winning the following week at home against the Seahawks. Chicago leads the National Football League with 16 interceptions and ranks second in takeaways with 24. "They might not be fun for the offense, but they're still fun for us". "Every game, every third down that he sees, every red zone defense that he sees, put it in a locker and we'll come back to that next year, like, 'Oh yeah, I remember that play, running that play against that defense.' It's all banking knowledge right now for him, and that's important". They also have a Monday night game at Seattle on December 10.

"I think he's done pretty much everything", Zimmer said. "I don't think they got enough credit for how talented they were being a top ten defense past year only winning four games and then you add a Khalil Mack and a Roquan Smith to an already good defense so we'll have our work cut out for us", Rudolph added. Eddie Jackson is a little bit more of a ball hawk since they've added him. "I think adding [Taylor] Gabriel, he is an extremely fast guy".

Maybe taking a few more shots, and hitting on a few more, could be just the spark the Lions' offense needs. [Trey] Burton, [Allen] Robinson. "He's proved himself in this league over and over, and with a guy like that being added to a good defense, it does bring a lot of energy". Then you throw in there (Tarik) Cohen and Anthony Miller, who has done a nice job. He threw for a combined 570 yards, two touchdowns, an interception and had a 104 passer rating. "We have to take care of him; we know that". They're opening things up a lot more. He's got some really good quickness and really good feet. "No matter what the schedule is, there's going to be great players in every division - and he's certainly one of them. That is part of the National Football League".

With wind chills expected to be in the upper teens during the game, the weather and hard winds of Soldier Field will certainly have a say in the success and failure of the kicking game. Two of those Minnesota wins came away from home-23-21 as an underdog at Philly and a 20-point blowout at the New York Jets-which improved the team's straight-up record to 8-3-1 over its past dozen road games.

Trubisky played relatively well in that 2017 game, but a fourth-quarter pick by Vikings safety Harrison Smith sealed the Bears' fate in front of a national audience on a Monday night.

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