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Halas Intrigue Bears Report: Previewing Week 4 vs. Vikings

Keep a close eye on the Bears’ injury report and Vikings red-hot running back Dalvin Cook.

Dalvin Cook of the Minnesota Vikings celebrates a first down against the Oakland Raiders on September 22, 2019.
Dalvin Cook has been the biggest weapon in the Vikings’ 2-1 start, leading the NFL with 375 rushing yards, 6.6 yards per carry and four touchdowns.
Getty Images

The good: The Green Bay Packers lost to the Philadelphia Eagles on Thursday night, dropping them to 3-1. Nigel Bradham picked off a pass by Aaron Rodgers in the end zone with 20 seconds left to preserve the Eagles’ 34-27 victory.

The bad: The Bears’ injury report is starting to take on a life of its own with five starters making the list. Defensive lineman Akiem Hicks (right knee) is the biggest concern and will likely be a game-day decision.

The ugly: The last time the Bears played at Soldier Field, they were, ahem, booed during their season-opener. Coach Matt Nagy heard all the noise. “Any human being, you don’t really want people booing for you, let alone your home fans,” Nagy said. “So we want to play better so they can cheer better.”

Let’s get to it ...

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Offense: Good Mitch or Bad Mitch?

Our Rick Telander puts it bluntly: Three games into his third season, it’s time to admit Mitch Trubisky will never be great.

The Bears know they need to mix things up more offensively. The potential is there with rookie running back David Montgomery, but the offensive line is not in a groove yet, writes Mark Potash. “I think we can play a little bit better there,” Nagy said. “They know that.”

By the numbers:

  • Passing stats: 67-for-103, 579 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INTs, 81.3 passer rating.
  • Running stats: 68 carries for 289 yards (46 longest), 1 TD.
  • Receiving stats: 67 catches for 579 yards (36 longest), 3 TDs.

Defense: All Eyes on Hicks

Nagy said Akiem Hicks’ participation against the Vikings is “probably going to end up being a game-time decision.” We take a look at Nagy’s options if Hicks can’t go.

The Bears’ proud run defense is on high alert against the Vikings’ red-hot running back Dalvin Cook. “Anytime somebody tries to run the ball at the crib ... I’ll take that as a challenge,” linebacker Danny Trevathan said.

By the numbers:

  • Sacks stats: 11 for 92 yards.
  • Tackles stats: 194.
  • Turnover stats: 4 INTs (1 TD), 4 fumbles (2 recovered).

Special Teams: Knee-Hurt Reaction

Kicker Eddy Pineiro is nursing a knee injury that made him a game-time decision Monday. Nagy says his performance against the Redskins is “a good sign” that he can work through his pain.

By the numbers:

  • Field goals: 5-for-6 (longest 53 yards).
  • Extra points: 5-for-5.

What They’re Saying

In a story that carries the catchy headline “Field of Screams,” the Minneapolis Star Tribune details the Vikings’ “bizarre, cruel history” of losses at Soldier Field. Bears fans will enjoy this Vikings-slayer look back.

At the Twin Cities Pioneer Press, they are calling it the “game of the defenses.” As defensive end Everson Griffen puts it: “Which defense is going to play better? Which defense is going to stop the run better? Which defense play the pass better? We have to go out there and give our offenses more opportunities to get on the field to score points.”


From Our Notebooks

  • Our experts, who got skunked in Week 1, make their picks for the Vikings game. Spoiler: They are not in complete agreement.
  • The Bears made some minor roster moves ahead of the game Sunday.
  • In case you forget, here’s a look back at the Bears’ resounding victory over the Redskins on Monday night.

What’s Next?

  1. Remember, after the Vikings game, the Bears’ next game will be Oct. 6 against the host Oakland Raiders ... in London. Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will play host to its first-ever American football game.
  2. After the London visit, the Bears get their bye week, then resume play Oct. 20 with a home game against the New Orleans Saints.

Other Thoughts


On the Podcast

In Thursday’s edition of Halas Intrigue, Patrick Finley and Mark Potash break down the Bears’ rash of injuries and discuss the challenge that poses with Dalvin Cook, the NFL’s leading rusher, coming to town. Then, in the world-famous Pot-Cast, Mark details that he’s never even broken a bone. What? Was he covered in Nerf his whole life?

Listen here.

Also, got any questions for the Bears? Email us or tweet at @suntimes_sports and we’ll see if we can get them answered in one of our next newsletters.


This Week’s Question

Dear Reader: With three games under their belt, what scares you the most about the Bears’ season? Email us at sports@suntimes.com with your question, name and location, and we’ll include the best responses (and our thoughts!) in our next newsletter.

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