Big Al's Daily Angle: NFL Preview

by Big Al Staff

The NFL Monday Night Football game on ESPN between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears is the main attraction on the Monday sports card.

Minnesota has raised their record to a 3-5 mark with two straight victories. The Vikings defeated Detroit at home last week by a 34-20 score as a 3-point favorite. Minnesota had a +3 net turnover margin to help them win that game. Kirk Cousins completed 13 of 20 passes in the victory for 220 yards with three touchdown passes and no interceptions. Cousins is completing 65.6% of his passes for 1855 yards with an 8.9 yards-per-attempt average. He has thrown 15 touchdown passes, but his 10 interceptions are a source of concern. Cousins has also won only one of his ten career starts on Monday Night Football.

Running back Dalvin Cook rushed for 206 yards on 22 carries to lead the Vikings to the victory against the Lions. Cook has 858 rushing yards with 12 touchdowns this season on 6.5 Yards-Per-Carry. Over his last five games, he has rushed for at least 135 yards five times while generation 745 yards over that span.

Head coach Mike Zimmer has been frustrated by his defense that has allowed 29.3 points-per-game along with 412.9 yards-per-game this season. Minnesota has played seven rookies on defense, and they enter this game with their most experienced cornerback having only 21 games under his belt in his career. Yet the Vikings have allowed just 22 and 20 points in their last two games.

Chicago started the year 5-1, but they have since lost three straight games after their 24-17 loss at Philadelphia last week as a 6.5-point underdog. Nick Foles completed 36 of 52 passes for 335 yards with two touchdown passes in the losing effort. Foles is completing 65.6% of his passes this season for 1746 yards in the seven games he has played this season. But he is averaging only 6.1 yards-per-attempt with ten touchdowns and seven interceptions.

The Bears are scoring only 19.8 points-per-game this season, which is 29th in the NFL while averaging 317.8 yards-per-game. Their defense is keeping them in games as they are allowing only 21.1 points-per-game, which is the seventh-best mark in the league. Head coach Matt Nagy has relented on pulling double-duty as the play-caller on offense as he delegated those duties this week to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor.

Chicago faces depletion at running back with David Montgomery out for this game as he continues through the concussion protocol. With Tarik Cohen out the season with his ACL tear, the Bears must resort to converted wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson along with the recent running backs from Oregon State in third-year pro-Ryan Nall and undrafted free agent Artavis Pierce on their depth chart. Nagy could elevate veteran Lamar Miller from the practice squad after he missed last season with a torn ACL.

Bears’ wide receiver, Allen Robinson, is questionable with a knee injury. Nagy has said it is a possibility that center Cody Whitehair could be activated off the COVID list after the team has used three different centers in the last three weeks.

BookMaker lists Minnesota as a 3-point road favorite with the total set at 43.5. Kickoff on ESPN is at 8:20 PM ET.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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