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Monday, 19 November, 2018

Offences may struggle to land telling blows on Monday Night Football

NFC North clash could prove a tight affair

Chicago's rookie Mitchell Trubisky gets his big chance
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Sky Sports Action, 1.30am Monday night

Chicago embark upon a new era with the hope rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky can help them to be competitive in the NFC North this season after winning just one of their opening four matches.

The clock has been ticking for Mike Glennon ever since the Bears moved up the draft for Trubisky at number two in April and a poor display against Green Bay last time out convinced coach John Fox that the time was right was change.

Consequently, Trubisky has been thrown into the Monday Night Football spotlight and he could face a tough night against divisional rivals Minnesota despite the fact ten days have elapsed since Chicago suffered their Week Four 35-14 defeat to Green Bay.

The new quarterback could call upon running backs Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen to help him handle the workload, but the Bears face a defence who had conceded the third-lowest number of yards on the floor in their opening four matches.

That escape route may be difficult to penetrate, while the Vikings progress has been hampered by injuries on the other side of the ball.

A late decision looks likely on quarterback Sam Bradford's fitness after he has missed their last three matches with a knee injury, but a bigger blow was the loss of rookie running back Dalvin Cook.

He was looking like the ideal replacement for Adrian Peterson before he suffered a season-ending knee injury in last week's 14-7 defeat to Detroit, and the Vikings are likely to miss Cook's productivity.

Minnesota have lost six of their last seven away matches and have covered the handicap in just one of those outings, and the Bears defence could prove equally difficult to breach.

Green Bay's Aaron Rodgers threw four touchdown passes against them last week but they restricted the Packers great to just 179 passing yards and that's encouraging.

Linebacker Danny Trevathan is suspended for a dangerous tackle on Packers receiver Davante Adams, but with two offences having plenty to prove, it is questionable whether the 40-points line will be eclipsed.

Recommendation
Under 40 points
2pts 10-11 general


Team news
Minnesota
A game-time decision is likely to be made on quarterback Sam Bradford's participation, although he did practice fully on Saturday. Linebacker Eric Kendricks has recovered from illness and should play.

Chicago
Linebacker Danny Trevathan is suspended while cornerback Marcus Cooper is questionable with a back injury.

Key stat
Chicago have won eight of their last nine home matches against Minnesota. 


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Trubisky has been thrown into the Monday Night Football spotlight and he could face a tough night against divisional rivals Minnesota
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