Cook will be held under 100 yards rushing
Call it pessimism. Call it a bad feeling. Call it reading too much Pro Football Focus. Either way, Dalvin Cook’s recent production has to come to an end at some point and Monday night could very well be that moment.
This is nothing against Cook’s production over the past two games. With 478 total yards and six touchdowns, he has put the Vikings on his back in an effort to try to get them back into the playoff picture. There’s even a valid argument that if Minnesota keeps winning, Cook could make a push for an MVP campaign in a league dominated by quarterbacks.
But it’s just unlikely to continue on Monday night.
The Bears have had their way with the Vikings during the past two seasons and it starts with the offensive line. Chicago defensive lineman Akiem Hicks has struggled so far in 2020, but before missing both meetings with Minnesota a year ago, he dominated the purple and gold in 2018. In those meetings, Hicks collected eight pressures and two sacks as the Bears asserted their dominance.
This also includes trying to stop Chicago linebacker Khalil Mack, who has rebounded from an injury-plagued 2019 season. Mack has returned with a vengeance, ranking as the second-best edge defender per PFF’s grades and the third-best edge defender against the run.
The Bears have their share of flaws, but none of them are on the defensive side. That could mean the Vikings might have difficulty getting Cook going on Monday.