The Chicago Bears head back on the road this weekend, traveling to Minneapolis to face the Minnesota Vikings. Coming off a 20-12 loss to the New York Giants in Week 4, the Bears must find a way to enliven an offense that ranks 31st in the NFL in total yardage and scoring. They’ll encounter a 3-1 Vikings team that is building belief under new coach Kevin O’Connell. In the lead-up to Sunday’s game, here are a dozen eye-catching facts and figures.
Catches, receiving yards and touchdowns by Bears wide receivers through four games, a lackluster total for the league’s worst-ranked passing attack. Darnell Mooney is the team’s leader in receptions (eight) and receiving yards (121). Equanimeous St. Brown and Dante Pettis have the team’s only two receiving touchdowns.
Catches, receiving yards and touchdowns by Vikings star Justin Jefferson after four games this season. In four career games against the Bears, Jefferson has totaled 25 receptions, 393 yards and two touchdowns.
Receiving yards by Jefferson since he entered the league in 2020, the most by any NFL player during that span. He has 16 games with at least 100 receiving yards, including a career-high 184-yard, two-touchdown outburst against the Green Bay Packers in the season opener.
Completions per possession by the Bears offense this season. Consider this a stat that will require weekly updates in this numbers-crunching exercise — at least until the Bears can push it north of 1.0. Fields has 34 completions in 44 series on the season. The league’s passing-yardage leaders, the Los Angeles Chargers, have averaged 2.5 completions on their 45 possessions.
Possessions since Justin Fields last threw a touchdown pass. His most recent came with 12 minutes, 45 seconds to play in the season opener against the San Francisco 49ers, an 18-yard connection to Equanimeous St. Brown that put the Bears ahead 13-10. Fields has thrown 50 passes with 26 completions and three interceptions since then.
Touchdown passes allowed by the Vikings defense, tied for second best in the NFL with the Buffalo Bills. Only the San Francisco 49ers have allowed fewer with two. The Vikings haven’t been imposing against the pass this season. They rank 26th in passing yards allowed (263.5 ypg) and tied for 14th with nine sacks. But they have kept opposing quarterbacks from scoring.
Teams that have more than tripled the Bears’ net-passing yardage total through four games. The Bears have 390 net passing yards in their 2-2 start. The Chargers (1,229) and Bills (1,188) have lapped that total three times. Twenty-three other teams have more than doubled the Bears’ net-passing production.
Miles flown, round trip, by the Vikings for last week’s game against the New Orleans Saints in London. The Vikings won 28-25 at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. The Vikings kept their trip short and landed back in Minneapolis on Sunday night.
Record of teams that have returned from playing in London as part of the NFL’s International Series and have played the following week rather than having an open date. The 2016 Indianapolis Colts navigated the quick turnaround and beat the Bears 29-23 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Week 5. The next season, the Dolphins came back from overseas and beat the Tennessee Titans 16-10. To this point, no team has won its game in London and returned to win again the following week, a feat the Vikings are attempting to pull off Sunday.
Bounces off the goal post of the 61-yard, game-tying field-goal try by Saints kicker Wil Lutz on the final play of Sunday’s game against the Vikings in London. Lutz’s kick hit the inside of the left upright, caromed down to the crossbar, bounced into the air and fell into the end zone. That double-doink — not quite as galling as the Bears’ version in the 2018 playoffs — finished off a 28-25 Saints loss. Said Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson: “We did not get those bounces last year. We’re just happy to be in the position to finish games now versus getting back on the plane with an ‘L.’ ”
Interceptions by Bears safety Eddie Jackson in four games, tied for second in the NFL. Only the Bills’ Jordan Poyer has more this season with four. In his sixth season in Chicago, Jackson has 13 interceptions. His single-season high is six interceptions, set in 2018.
The last season in which the Bears traveled to Minnesota before Thanksgiving. The Bears and Vikings have played each other in Minneapolis late for 15 consecutive seasons, playing one game in late November, 11 in December and three in January. The Vikings are 10-5 in home games against the Bears during that span. The last time the Bears played in Minnesota before Thanksgiving, quarterback Rex Grossman threw a game-winning 24-yard touchdown pass to Rashied Davis in the final minutes for a 19-16 victory in Week 3 of 2006.