Get the series history, 2006 rankings, keys to the game and personnel news as the Vikings and Bears look to give each other their first loss of the season and take the lead in the NFC North Division.
Chicago Bears (2-0) at Minnesota Vikings (2-0)
KICKOFF: Sunday, 1:00 ET
TV: FOX, Dick Stockton, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
91st meeting. Minnesota Vikings lead series 48-40-2, one of just 11 teams that have an all-time series edge over the Bears. The Vikings have won the last four meetings at the Metrodome.
offense 7th (17th rush, 5th pass); defense 5th (8th rush, 13th pass).
offense 13th (13th rush, 12th pass); defense 7th (17th rush, 9th pass)
KEYS TO THE GAME
This is a litmus test on both sides of the ball for the resurgent Vikings. Their Cover-2 scheme under new coordinator Mike Tomlin will face its first opponent that can hurt them on the ground or through the air.
The Bears are averaging just 2.8 yards per carry, but that's due to opponents over-playing the run, and QB Rex Grossman
has made them pay by spreading the ball around in the passing game.
The Vikings' offensive line has its work cut out against a Bears defense that sacked Lions QB Jon Kitna
six times last week. RT Marcus Johnson
must rebound from a poor game, but look for Minnesota to run behind the massive left side of its offensive line and attempt to control the line of scrimmage early. The Vikings didn't produce an offensive touchdown last Sunday and will need this to be a low-scoring defensive battle, so QB Brad Johnson
must get rid of the ball quickly and avoid turnovers.
Grossman's four TD passes last week equaled his total for his first three seasons combined. ... Coach Lovie Smith is 7-1 (.875) vs. the NFC North. Vikings:
Johnson is 9-2 since taking over as the starter last season. ... Are 10-2 (.833) at home vs. the NFC North since 2002.
WR Troy Williamson, who continues to be listed as questionable on the injury report because of a sprained left shoulder, went through a second consecutive day of practice. Williamson said he not only will play Sunday against the Bears but also expects to return kicks.
WR Marcus Robinson has a strained right hamstring and also is listed as questionable on the injury report. However, like Williamson, Robinson has not missed any practice time this week.
RG Artis Hicks practiced for the second consecutive day despite a shoulder injury. He is listed as questionable but is expected to play. Hicks has been trying out a brace on the shoulder. If Hicks has any trouble he could be replaced by Anthony Herrera or Jason Whittle.
RB Mewelde Moore is the most likely player to return kicks on Sunday if the Vikings want to protect Williamson from taking a beating on that unit. Williamson has been the Vikings' primary kick returner through two games.
QB Brooks Bollinger will now be No. 2 behind starter Brad Johnson on the depth chart. Rookie Tarvaris Jackson was No. 2 during the opening game, but Bollinger overtook him in Week 2, and now Jackson is expected to miss about a month with a knee injury suffered in practice Thursday.
For the Lions, WR Airese Currie (shoulder, probable) didn't practice Thursday, and even if he is able to play, he will probably be inactive on Sunday.
DL Israel Idonije (ankle, questionable) did not practice Wednesday or Thursday and will probably be given another week off, although the Bears were talking two weeks ago like he'd be OK for the opener. With everyone else on the line playing well, they can afford to let Idonije heal completely.
S Cameron Worrell (knee, questionable) did not practice Wednesday or Thursday and is likely to be inactive on Sunday. His major contribution is on special teams.
LS Pat Mannelly (ill, questionable) did not practice Thursday but is almost certain to play on Sunday.
DE Mark Anderson, a fifth-round draft choice who missed almost the entire training camp, had a half-sack last week and should see plenty of snaps as a backup this week with Israel Idonije still battling an ankle injury.