The Bears have a new QB at the helm, and Romilly Evans says the rookie can start with a big win at home in this match-up which starts in the wee hours of Tuesday morning...
"Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen pack a powerful one-two gore for the Bears, and could also free up Trubisky’s throwing arm"
Minnesota Vikings @ Chicago Bears
Start-time: Tuesday, 01:30
TV: Live on Sky Sports Action
Soldier Field welcomes an exciting new leader
Like a ruthless lothario on the dating circuit, it's out with the old and in with the younger model for the Chicago Bears. Mike Glennon wasn't even that old at 27 years of age. Then again, he couldn't really compete once Chicago had courted Mitchell Trubisky, 23, as their first-round pick in the latest Draft. Trubisky was always the quarterback to whom Chicago wanted to commit, and now is the time for the next generation to cut its teeth, after the Bears have hit rock bottom in the NFC North at 1-3.
However, we're only four games in, so technically Trubisky could salvage their season. It's not just about building for the future. Especially here against another divisional rival (Chicago just fell to Green Bay 35-14) in Minnesota, who are coming off an even more dispiriting defeat.
Quite how the Vikings managed to fumble the ball three times and failed to capitalise on six Matthew Stafford sacks last Sunday is anyone's guess. Yet, psychologically at least, Dalvin Cook's cruel break proved the hex. Minny's rookie running man is now out for the year with a torn ACL, and its untimely arrival clearly produced a domino effect on his Vikes' teammates.
A road trip to intimidating Soldier Field is probably the last thing that Mike Zimmer's depleted troops fancy, especially with Trubisky reprising the hackneyed role of a young general rejuvenating his new army. The former North Carolina stud showed huge promise in preseason, completing a whopping 68% of his attempts for 364 yards, three touchdowns and no interceptions (perhaps the key stat there) in only four games. Minimising mistakes at this formative level will be crucial to Trubisky's success.
That said, no matter how well you perform in testing, experience in the NFL is hard-won. Especially for a fledgling signal-caller who's lost a couple of go-to guys at wide receiver - Cameron Meredith and Kevin White - for the season. So the Bears' offensive line will have to pull up the proverbial shield for their new starter.
Or better yet, Mr Biscuit (as his freshman peers bizarrely named him) can use discretion as the better part of valour for now: he can simply hand the pigskin off to Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen in the backfield. These RBs pack a powerful one-two gore for the Bears, and could also free up Trubisky's throwing arm. So this could well come down to how well Minnesota's stingy run defense (which to date has held opponents to 71.3 yards per game, or 3.0 yards per rush - fourth in the league on both statistical columns) repels boarders with the Windy City's "thunder and lightning" attack.
For their part, Minny will look to their own dynamic duo (this time at receiver in Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen who lead the NFL in 20-yard-plus receptions in 2017) to keep pace. However, Sam Bradford (knee) was limited in practice earlier in the week, and his wide men may not receive their customary supply. Instead, I see this coming down to clock control and homefield advantage for the Bears. Oh, and an old head on young shoulders in Trubisky. Back him with some confidence here, receiving a field goal's head-start. For the Bears, the future starts now.
Back Chicago Bears (+3) to win on the Match Points Spread @ [1.97] or better
Back Chicago Bears (+1.5) to win on the First Half Handicap @ [2.5] or better
Back J. Howard to score First / Anytime Touchdown @ [12.0] / [2.5] or better