Monday Night Football is back tonight with an NFC North showdown between the Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears. After a rainy and windy night in New England on Sunday night, the weather will be quieter in Chicago. There is still expected to be a strong breeze, but nothing unmanageable and there is no precipitation called. It looked like it was hard to see out there in the Ravens and Patriots game last night. That wasn’t the only game impacted by windy conditions in the east on Sunday.
The NFC North is currently controlled by the Green Bay Packers. They own a record of 7-2, while the Chicago Bears are the only team within reach at 5-4. The Detroit Lions stayed afloat with a 30-27 win over the Washington Football Team on Sunday afternoon.
Matt Prater’s 59-yard boom saved the Lions, who were collapsing in the second half. Meanwhile, the Vikings are sitting in purgatory at the bottom of the division with a record of 3-5. There were more than a few people who believed in the Vikings this season. I wasn’t fooled, but thought they’d be something better than 3-5 going into Week 10.
Kirk Cousins said that he wasn’t going to mind playing in front of an empty crowd. He might want to take that back, because Cousins has really been a disappointment in 2020. Cousins is way too inconsistent for my liking. Even when Cousins has a couple of good games, people can’t be caught up in the hype. He will have good games, but consistency is part of being a superior quarterback in the NFL.
I can say the same for Nick Foles. He might give a good game or two and pull the wool over everyone’s eyes. Foles will go down in history for his performance in the Super Bowl against the Patriots. However, as an every week quarterback, Foles comes up short in that regard. The Bears can’t do much with Mitch Trubisky their other option. In other words, if I were the Packers, I’d be feeling really comfortable right now. Head below for our free Vikings vs. Bears prop picks for November 16, 2020.
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) November 16, 2020
Dalvin Cook Receiving Yards
There has been some sloppy play on the Vikings’ offense. Kirk Cousins has been unable to play consistent football. Losing Stefon Diggs certainly stings, but for the money that Cousins is being paid, he has to be a quarterback that makes others around him better. I’m not expecting him to be Tom Brady or anything, but start making some plays and helping his receivers out. The one player on the Vikings’ offense that has been performing is Dalvin Cook.
Cook continues to run hard despite a lack of weapons surrounding him. The Vikings’ offense is predicated around Cook running the ball well. If Cousins got his act together, then suddenly this would be a dangerous offense. Cook has gained 858 yards and 12 touchdowns on 6 yards per carry. He’s coming off a couple of monster performances against the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. Cook ran for 163 yards and 3 touchdowns on 5.4 yards per carry against the Packers, and then did even better the following week, with 206 yards and 1 touchdown on 9.4 yards per carry.
The Bears’ defense will be able to provide some more resistance on Monday night, but Cook will get his. He’s also been a tremendous asset out of the backfield as a receiver. Cook has caught 21 receptions for 173 yards and a receiving touchdown in 2020. He’s recorded 24 yards, 63 yards, and 46 yards the previous three weeks. Cook has been targeted 10 times over those three games. Against a solid defense like the Bears, the Vikings have to get the ball to their playmaker as much as they can. This receiving total looks too low for Cook.
Allen Robinson Receiving Yards
Nick Foles hasn’t been at his best with the Bears. Mitch Trubisky was playing so horribly earlier in the year that a quarterback change had to be made, though. Foles, the hero of Super Bowl LII in 2018, has made seven appearances for the Bears this season. One of his best outings was off the pine against the Atlanta Falcons on September 27.
Foles orchestrated a comeback in Atlanta, as he threw for 3 touchdowns and an interception. His highest QB rating of the year came last week versus the Tennessee Titans. Foles passed for 335 yards and 2 touchdowns with no interceptions for a 99.4 QBR.
He has been looking to Allen Robinson early and often. Robinson is being paid to be the No. 1 wide receiver for the Bears, and he’s been holding up his end of the bargain. The Bears need somebody else to help take pressure off Robinson if they really want to put this offense in a good position. In any event, Robinson has been doing what’s asked of him.
Robinson goes into Monday night with 712 yards and 3 touchdowns on 12.5 yards per reception. He is coming off a couple of solid performances against the New Orleans Saints and Titans. Robinson was targeted 7 times for 6 receptions and 87 yards versus the Saints. Foles looked his way even more the following week, as Robinson caught 7 receptions on 9 targets for 81 yards. He went over 70 yards in five of his last seven games. In one of the games he didn’t Allen came just short by a yard. I will take a gamble on Robinson recording 70+ yards tonight.
Jimmy Graham Receptions
Jimmy Graham isn’t the target that he used to be in the NFL. Graham was a player that a defensive coordinator had to plan around when he was a member of the New Orleans Saints. While Graham doesn’t have the same speed, he still has his size and incredible catch radius. Graham is still a matchup nightmare for some linebackers. Just don’t expect Graham to go wild for around 100 yards any longer in his career and you should be happy with what you see from him.
Graham goes into Monday night with 302 yards and 5 touchdowns in 2020. He continues to get looks from Nick Foles, and is coming off another productive outing last week. Graham made 6 receptions for 55 yards against the Titans on the road. Note that Graham has caught at least 4 receptions in three of his last four games, and in five of his previous six. His receiving prop on Monday night is definitely worth some consideration.