Updated: December 20, 2020 07:34 AM
Created: December 19, 2020 04:49 PM
The Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears are both looking to elevate their records to .500 this week as they battle for sole possession of second place in the NFC North. The Bears were able to snap a six-game losing streak last week with a win over Houston; meanwhile, the Vikings are seeking to get back on track after a frustrating loss in Tampa.
1. Kick it through the uprights
Vikings kicker had a nightmare of a game last week in Tampa. Bailey missed an extra point and all three field-goal attempts in the Vikings 26-14 loss to the Buccaneers.
Bailey's only made a career-low 66.7% percent of his kicks this season, but the Vikings are sticking with him.
“He’s kicked good this week. I talked to him a couple times this week about certain things. He’s a very even-keeled guy that has a history of being a terrific kicker in this league,” Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer said. “There’s not one guy on our football team that hasn’t had a bad day. That’s just part of life."
The Vikings did sign kicker Taylor Bertolet to their practice squad on Saturday. Bertolet has never kicked in an NFL regular season game, but could be their guy if Bailey struggles again versus the Bears.
2. Win the battle of the pass rushes
The Vikings need to protect quarterback Kirk Cousins and they need to put some heat on Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky.
Cousins has been sacked 10 times over the last two games, and the Minnesota defense did not register a sack last week against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers.
The Vikings did sack Bears quarterback Nick Foles twice in their week ten win over the Bears, but Trubisky has more mobility and can create big plays with scrambles.
3. Don't let Allen Robinson beat them
When it comes to Chicago's receiving corps, it's pretty much a one-man show.
Allen Robinson's 86 catches this season is almost twice as many as Chicago's next leading receiver Anthony Miller (44). Robinson has 23 catches for 272 yards and three touchdowns in the Bears' last three games. The Vikings' young cornerbacks have improved a lot as the season has progressed, but they'll need to be at their very best when covering Robinson.
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