Minnesota Vikings Week 5: Top takeaways vs. the Chicago Bears

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 09: Kyle Rudolph
CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 09: Kyle Rudolph /
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(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) Everson Griffen
(Photo by Jon Durr/Getty Images) Everson Griffen /

Under 300 Club

Entering Monday’s game, the Minnesota defense had been gaining traction as one of the league’s premier units and against Chicago, they solidified their lofty standing.  While no particular positional group had a standout game, as a whole the defense was very impressive in holding their opponent to fewer than 300 yards for the second consecutive week.

Facing a rookie quarterback making his first start may seem like an easy proposition, but a lack of NFL tape available often hinders a coordinator’s ability to prepare without being able to identify a prospect’s areas of strength or weaknesses to attack. You only have to look at how Deshaun Watson has been tearing apart opponents to see that facing a highly regarded rookie signal caller can be a daunting task.  Refreshingly, Mike Zimmer proved himself more than capable of meeting the challenge as Mitchell Trubisky was limited to completing only 12 passes for 128 passing yards.

The secondary was in fantastic form as they severely restricted Trubisky’s downfield options and forced several pass break-ups on the passes that were accurate.  Speaking of broken up passes, Andrew Sendejo was very unfortunate to see one that he tipped end up the hands of Zach Miller for a touchdown, but that slice of bad luck was wiped out by a Harrison Smith interception that set up the Vikings’ winning field goal.

On the subject of turnovers, the Vikings’ pass-rush wasn’t as prolific as it was against the Lions, but on the Vikings’ only sack of the night, Everson Griffen forced a fumble for Linval Joseph to pounce on. Griffen continued his tremendous start to the season by logging his sixth sack of the campaign, and continuing his streak of taking down a quarterback in each game.

The Vikings’ run stoppers were once again in fine form as they restricted the Bears to under four yards a carry and completely shutdown Tariq Cohen a week after struggling against an equally slippery ball carrier in Amer Abdullah. Trae Waynes may rightfully garner criticism for his coverage ability, but he particularly impressed by channelling his inner Antoine Winfield by making several run stops around the line of scrimmage.

If they want their winning ways to continue, the Vikings will need to be at their defensive best against Aaron Rodgers when he visits U.S Bank Stadium this weekend. In last season’s fixture, the Vikings’ defense did a fantastic job of shutting him down and based on their performances so far this year, I wouldn’t bet against a repeat performance.