Bears, Vikings meet in primetime showdown for NFC North lead

Published 8:20 am Friday, November 16, 2018

LAKE FOREST, Ill. (AP) — Mitchell Trubisky understands how high the stakes are.

The Chicago Bears have a chance to tighten their grip on the NFC North lead and demonstrate just how far they have come when they host the defending division champion Minnesota Vikings in a prime-time showdown for first place Sunday night.

“It’s a huge opportunity to show the world what we’re about and make a statement in our division,” Trubisky said.

Email newsletter signup

It has been a long time since the Bears (6-3) have been in a spot like this.

They endured four straight last-place finishes before a resurgence this year brought on by an offseason overhaul and the progress of Trubisky, their prized quarterback, in his second season.

They’re in sole possession of the division lead for the first time since 2013. They’ve won three in a row for the second time this season after beating Detroit last week to snap a 10-game skid against division opponents.

And a victory over Minnesota (5-3-1) would give the Bears their longest win streak since a six-game run in 2012. But the Vikings are also on a roll, having won four of five.

Both teams boast top-five defenses. Chicago leads the NFL with 16 interceptions and ranks second in takeaways with 24.

Points could be hard to come by for both teams.

“TV-wise, it’s probably boring, you know?” Vikings defensive tackle Sheldon Richardson said. “Guys don’t want to sit there and watch an 8-7 game, but those games are fun for us. They might not be fun for the offense, but they’re still fun for us.”