Scouting report: Vikings at Bears
7:20 p.m. Sunday at Soldier Field in Chicago (Ch. 11, 100.3-FM)
About the Bears
• The Bears (6-3) ran up a 26-0 lead on the Lions before halftime Sunday en route to a 34-22 dismantling of Detroit at Soldier Field, where Chicago is 4-1 this season.
• Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky is enjoying a breakout second season under first-year head coach Matt Nagy. Only eight quarterbacks have thrown more touchdown passes than Trubisky’s 19. He trails only Cam Newton for rushing yards (320) by a quarterback.
• The Bears defense has been the stabilizing force. It is in the top five in average yards allowed (319.6) and rushing yards allowed (84) while forcing 24 takeaways, leading to Chicago’s NFL-best turnover differential (plus-13).
• Running back Tarik Cohen is the Bears’ leading receiver with 435 yards on 37 catches. However, receiver Allen Robinson just returned from a two-game absence and had 133 yards and two touchdowns against the Lions.
Player to watch: OLB Khalil Mack
• Mack, the fifth-overall pick in 2014, was traded from the Oakland Raiders to the Bears on Sept. 1. Shortly after, Mack signed a six-year contract with $60 million guaranteed at signing, then making him the highest-paid defender in NFL history.
• When healthy, Mack has lived up to the hype. He leads the Bears with seven sacks, including two against the Lions, despite missing two games because of an ankle injury. According to Pro Football Focus, Mack is tied with the Vikings’ Danielle Hunter as the league’s fourth-most-efficient pass rusher off the edge.
• Bears coach Matt Nagy, who faced Mack in the AFC West, on being on the same team: “It’s real nice. He’s a really good player that we understand from the first day he got here, the way he practices, the way he flies around, the way he makes his teammates better across the board.”
Coach speak: Matt Nagy
• Nagy’s first 10 NFL coaching seasons were spent under Andy Reid, who has had seven top-10 scoring offenses in the past decade. Zimmer joked that Chicago has “800” different plays per game.
• On Trubisky’s development in Year 2: “He’s starting to feel more comfortable. Time helps with that. He’s really essentially a rookie in this system as is most of our offense. It’s the same thing for me, too, as a play caller learning these guys. I like where he’s at, but we got a ways to go.”
• On the Bears’ 24 takeaways, the second most in the NFL: “This is something that doesn’t just happen. This is something that our guys are trying to do each and every play. You’re not always going to be fortunate and make it happen, but when you do — you know how to react to it.”