Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears: NFC North clash will be ruled be defences

Minnesota Vikings
Kirk Cousins will lean on his supporting cast to win in Chicago

The Vikings face the Bears at Soldier Field in Sky's live Sunday night game, and Ben Steele thinks that the visitors could be sending Chicago to London on the back of a loss.

"Cook is leading the league in rushing yards, and has already scored four touchdowns, as the Vikings have begun the season with a run-heavy, ball control offence."

Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears
Sunday, 21:25 BST
Live on Sky Sports Action & Sky Sports Main Event

Vikings are cooking with gas

The Minnesota Vikings signed quarterback Kirk Cousins to a mammoth, fully guaranteed, $84 million contract last season and looked to build around the Illinois native in the 2018 season. One year later, it looks like Minnesota have abandoned that game plan and are looking to running back Dalvin Cook to guide them to victory.

Cook is leading the league in rushing yards, and has already scored four touchdowns, as the Vikings have begun the season with a run-heavy, ball-control offence. The 24-year-old is the key but when Minnesota do turn to Cousins, and the passing game, he has a talented receiving duo in the shape of Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs to depend on. The wide receivers provide a much needed safety blanket for Cousins, something that Bears QB Mitch Trubisky must wish he has available to him.

Trubisky, who was drafted before Deshaun Watson and Patrick Mahomes in 2017, has been inconsistent throughout his career and that doesn't bode well for Chicago's chances. In what will be tight game, the extra offensive outlets available to Minnesota makes 21/20 a good price to back.

Points at a premium

With a couple of inconsistent quarterbacks starting on Sunday I think that both defences will be looking to dominate the opposition. The Chicago Bears defence forced four turnovers and scored a touchdown in their Monday Night victory over the Washington Redskins, building on their impressive 2018 showing, where they led the league in turnovers forced and defensive touchdowns scored. The Bears are an opportunistic defensive outfit who can end an opponents' drive at any time, but they may have met their match in the Minnesota Vikings.

Mitch Trubisky will be up against a real challenge, the Vikings have an exceptional pass rush, led by Danielle Hunter, that will likely cause him trouble all day. While Khalil Mack will certainly disrupt Minnesota, Hunter has a better supporting cast than the Bears star and I expect Chicago to be on the back foot. Two impressive defences face a pair of overmatched offences, look for a low scoring game decided by the finest of margins.

Minnesota receivers ready to step up

The NFC North is one of the deepest divisions in football, and has the potential to send three teams to the playoffs this season, so a divisional matchup will be key. With the Green Bay Packers losing on Thursday night Sunday's game is a good chance for either of these teams to stake their claim. Minnesota, with Thielen and Diggs, who account for more than half of Kirk Cousins' passing yards, will be hoping to put their foot down. Despite the inconsistency displayed by Cousins, I expect one of the Minnesota pass catchers to go over their receiving yards line. Adam Thielen is 5/6 to get 65 receiving yards and Stefon Diggs is EVS to get at least 56. One, or both of them, are value to cover those lines but I'm backing Diggs.

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