Minnesota Vikings Week 17 Preview: Now or never vs. the Chicago Bears
By Chris Schad
Kirk Cousins vs. Mitchell Trubisky
As with most crucial matchups late in the season, the conversation for Sunday starts with the signal callers.
In the first meeting, Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky didn’t have a sterling game (165 passing yards, a touchdown, two interceptions), but he did just enough to make a couple of big plays to help Chicago come away with the win.
Coming into said game, the main objective of the Vikings defense should have been to keep Trubisky in the pocket and force him to beat them with his arm.
Minnesota simply didn’t do that as the Bears ran rollout plays to get Trubisky out of the pocket and with his scrambling ability (which netted 43 yards on 10 carries), he was able to draw in the defense in to make plays downfield such as an 18-yard touchdown pass to Anthony Miller in the second quarter.
In the purple corner, Kirk Cousins simply didn’t have his A-game against Chicago in Week 11. This was definitely a “Bad Kirk” game as he missed a throw to Stefon Diggs on what would have been a deep touchdown in the first quarter that could have changed the narrative of the entire game.
Instead, the Vikings offensive line couldn’t keep Cousins clean and although he wound up with a decent stat line (262 passing yards, two touchdowns, two interceptions), it was one of his worst games of the season.
With Minnesota’s season on the line, the pressure will clearly be mounted on Cousins, who was brought in by the franchise as a mercenary to solidify the quarterback position.
However, it will also be interesting to see how Trubisky reacts in a hostile, playoff-like environment. All of this could change if the Bears decide to rest their starters later in the game, but the performance of both quarterbacks will go a long way in deciding how this game turns out.