2018 ScheduleAll times ET

2018 Schedule
5-4-1, 2nd in NFC North

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Per ESPN Stats & Info, Vikings rank 31st on running back screens, averaging out to 1.5 yards per attempt. A year after having such an explosive screen game, Mike Zimmer stresses a need to fix this element in Vikings offense: "We haven't been very good at it. I don't want to go into details why. But yeah, it's been a concern, yes. They're a great screen team, but we have not been very good at screens and that would help us."

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

The Vikings were held to 0.64 yards after contact per rush in Chicago, their fewest in a game in the last two seasons. How can they work around creating an effective run game when their rushers are getting hit so often at the LOS? "We got cut off," Mike Zimmer said. "A guy beat us inside on two of those runs. I think, really, at the end of the day, you have to be able to change up where you're not just going forward. You have to go to the perimeter some."

Brace Hemmelgarn/USA TODAY Sports
2dCourtney Cronin

Zimmer: Too much 'volume' in Vikings' playbook

Mike Zimmer theorized the Vikings might have too much "volume" within their offensive playbook a day after the team dropped its third prime-time game of the season, a 25-20 loss at Chicago.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

According to ESPN Stats & Info, Kirk Cousins was pressured on 17 drop backs last night. Mike Zimmer didn't seem to think the pressure Cousins faced led to his interceptions: "I saw that watching the tape, there was a lot of clean pockets in there. A lot of clean pockets. Sometimes we hit things and sometimes we don't. I'd have to think back on the two interceptions if they were pressured or not. I'm not sure I know what pressure is according to whoever is deciding it."

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Zimmer said Sunday that he wasn't sure if players weren't paying attention, not listening or don't care about what he's said about mistakes that keep happening. Today, he offered some clarification: "I think we had some lack of awareness on a few plays, and I pointed them out today. I've asked several players if they're listening to me or not or if they've quit listening to me. And not just them. I didn't ask them ‘did you?' but do you think these guys have stopped listening to me and they said 'no.'"

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Zimmer said having a new offense leads to some of those break downs, but doubled down on the perceived negative effect of installing too many plays: "You want to add new plays every week and new plays and new plays. If you're not executing them, it might be the best play in the world. Vince Lombardi might have designed it. But if you can't execute it then it doesn't do you any good. You can't protect for it or whatever it is."

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Mike Zimmer noted that there might be too much 'volume' in the Vikings offense right now, which is leading to some of the miscommunication, broken plays, etc. and that the Vikings "just need to focus a little bit on not trying to trick the other time quite so much."

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Mike Zimmer offered some insight on what's leading to some of Kirk Cousins struggles with turnovers, waiting too long for plays to develop: "Ive talked to him, yeah. I really don't think he's panicking. I don't think that's the case at all. I think there's times when he wants to get the ball down the field and so he'll wait for guys to get open and maybe instead of taking a sure thing, some times. Other than the turnovers, I have a hard time faulting him. This kid is tough, he plays outstanding, he works his rear end off, he's a great team guy. And quite honestly, guys are in the wrong spots some times, too. That's not just our team, that's every team. All those thing combined make it a little bit more difficult."

Clark on Cousins: 'He just was not good enough' (0:37)

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Kirk Cousins was pressured on 16 of his drop backs, which is the 2nd most he's seen in a game this season. Mike Zimmer wasn't quick to pin the issues on Minnesota's offensive line: "I think it's easy to throw blame on one group when there was a lot of things that happened in the course of that ball game. Our offensive line is fighting their rear ends off so I'm not going to place blame on them."

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Cousins: " The reasons we lost you could argue, Coach Zimmer sat there on Monday morning and told us these are the keys to victory, we have to be good in these areas. Red zone offense, protecting the football, run the football well. So the reasons we lost were no surprise to us in the sense that we knew they would be keys to victory and we weren't good enough in those areas."

3d

Bears beat Vikings 25-20, tighten grip on NFC North

Khalil Mack had a sack and fumble recovery, Eddie Jackson returned an interception for a touchdown and the Chicago Bears tightened their grip on the NFC North with a 25-20 victory over the second-place Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Kirk Cousins was 4-11 in prime time games entering Sunday Night Football in Chicago. He ended the half under pressure where he launched an overthrown pass intended for Kyle Rudolph that was picked off by Adrian Amos Jr. Cousins was 7-of-13 passing for 57 yards in the first half. The Vikings offense had three 3-and-outs and two turnovers in the first and second quarters.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

The first half for the Bears, who lead the Vikings 14-0, looked like this: FG, fumble recovery, TD, 2 point conversion, FG. Minnesota preached all week that Mitchell Trubisky's athleticism was something they'd need to contain but have yet to do so tonight. Three of Trubisky's four runs resulted in first downs, and the Bears have 115 yards rushing at halftime.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Another prove-it moment for the Vikings defense in the red zone in which they came through (opponents have converted 13 of 34 times inside the 20 this year), holding the Bears to a field goal after Chicago went 64 yards in 12 plays. Big 2nd down sack by Eric Wilson to force Mitchell Trubisky into third-and-16.

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

I talked with Eric Wilson, who is filling in for Anthony Barr again, on Friday about the challenge in stopping Tarik Cohen and how much is reliant upon communication between linebackers, nickel corner and other DBs given how many different ways he's used in the Bears offense: "They use him in the run game for those outside plays but also in the passing game to get him out scatting. Whether a DB is covering him or a linebacker's covering him, it's a disciplined job to handle him ... When you got a speedy guy like that who likes to bounce it, you don't really know where he's going to try to run the ball. We have to be much more disciplined in what we do and our communication with everyone else has to be on point."

Courtney Cronin ESPN Staff Writer 

Good news for Vikings OLine, which has Tom Compton and Mike Remmers active tonight despite battling injuries coming out of teh bye. Ameer Abdullah is also active for his first game since joining the Vikings during the bye week. Expect him to be used on kickoff return. Vikings inactives: Anthony Barr (hamstring), David Morgan (knee), Andrew Sendejo (groin), Mike Boone, Kyle Sloter, Tashawn Bower, Jalyn Holmes.

David Purdum ESPN Staff Writer 

Heading into Sunday, the most lopsided early betting action at the SuperBook at Westgate Las Vegas had been on the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings, who are 2.5-point underdogs at Chicago, had attracted 93 percent of the money wagered as of 8:30 a.m. ET at the SuperBOok.

Young: Cousins will lead Vikings to victory (0:42)

Team Stats

Passing Yards279.0
Rushing Yards84.7
Points For24.1
Points Against22.9