Bears attempt to right offense, keep Cousins winless on MNF
The Chicago Bears will try to snap a three-game skid — and the visiting Minnesota Vikings will go for their third win in a row — when the teams meet Monday night along the shores of Lake Michigan.
The mood is desperate in Chicago (5-4), where the Bears started with five wins in their first six games before sputtering.
“We have to right the ship,” Bears head coach Matt Nagy said. “And we’ve got to do it by getting one win. We have to be able to — whatever it is, by any measures — find a way to do that.”
The spotlight will be on the Bears’ offense. Nagy’s group has struggled for most of the season. He switched his quarterbacks late in Week 3, benching Mitchell Trubisky in favor of veteran Nick Foles, but the move has not led to a glut of scoring.
In the past six games, the Bears have failed to surpass 23 points. That includes a 24-17 loss a week ago to the Tennessee Titans, although Foles was not the main reason for the defeat as he completed 36 of 52 passes for 335 yards and two touchdowns.
Chicago will face a longtime division rival in the Vikings (3-5), who are coming off back-to-back wins over the Green Bay Packers and Detroit Lions. Minnesota’s 34-20 victory over Detroit last week marked its largest margin of victory in 2020.
Dalvin Cook has been the driving force behind the Vikings’ surge. The fourth-year running back rushed for 206 yards and a pair of touchdowns last week, giving him 858 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season. He also has 173 receiving yards and a score.
In three career games against the Bears, Cook is averaging only 2.5 yards per carry with one touchdown.
“We’ve just got to continue to build on from the previous weeks,” Cook said Thursday. “We know the identity of Chicago. They’re a great defensive team. … But we’ve just got to keep this thing about us and how we play football. I think if we play to our standard and keep holding guys accountable, we’ll come out with a victory.”
Minnesota leads the all-time series 60-55-2, but the Bears have won the past four matchups in a row. Chicago pulled away for a 16-6 win on its home field in 2019 and held on for a 21-19 win in Minnesota.
The Bears will look for their defense to lead the way against Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, who is 0-9 in Monday night games.
That statistic has been a sore spot for Cousins and his head coach, Mike Zimmer, who defended the quarterback late last season when the team lost to the Packers in front of a national TV audience on Monday night.
“I’m not going to get into this ‘Kirk Cousins on Monday night’ thing and all this stuff,” Zimmer said.
The status of several players on both teams is up in the air. Bears players who missed at least one practice this week included running back David Montgomery (concussion) and rookie tight end Cole Kmet (groin), while Vikings players who missed at least one practice included tight end Irv Smith (groin) and running back C.J. Ham (shoulder).
–Field Level Media