A pair of longtime NFC North rivals will meet up for a primetime battle on Sunday Night Football. The 6-3 Chicago Bears will host the 5-3-1 Minnesota Vikings, with the winner taking over the lead in the NFC North. The Vikings were able to beat the Bears in both games a season ago, but the Bears are one of the most improved teams in the NFL.

The Chicago Bears have won three straight games to vault to the top of the NFC North. Chicago has outscored their opponents by a combined 94 points this season, and come in with a 1-1 record against divisional opponents. Minnesota has won four of five games after getting off to a slow start to the 2017-18 season. The Chicago Bears are a 2.5 point favorite over the Vikings on Sunday night.

Bears Suddenly Have an Offense

Under new head coach Matt Nagy, the Bears suddenly have one of the best offenses in the NFL. Second-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky and newcomer Allen Robinson are a big reason for this improvement. Trubisky has thrown for over 2,300 yards and 19 touchdowns this season while completing 65 percent of his passes. Receiver Allen Robinson has four touchdown receptions this season while registering catches of 20+ yards.

While the offense is much improved, the Chicago Bears defense has been the real story in the NFL this season. Khalil Mack has registered seven of the Bears 30 sacks this season, and Chicago is relentless at applying pressure on the quarterback. The Bears have forced 24 turnovers already this season, and have scored four defensive touchdowns. Look for the Chicago defense to spend plenty of time in the Vikings’ backfield on Sunday night.

Cousins, Thielen Powering Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings offense is led by one of the top quarterback-wide receiver duos in the NFL. Quarterback Kirk Cousins has been terrific in his first season in Minnesota, and Adam Thielen has emerged as a top receiver in the NFL. Cousins has thrown for nearly 2,700 yards already this season, with 947 of this yards going to Adam Thielen. Thielen has scored seven touchdowns to lead a talented group of Vikings receivers.

The Vikings defense has taken a big step backwards after being the top unit in the NFL a season ago. Minnesota has forced just 14 turnovers this season, despite having some of the top defensive players in the league. Defensive end Danielle Hunter has recorded 11.5 of the Vikings 31 sacks this season and will look to get pressure on Trubisky in this game.

Bears Roar on Sunday Night

This game got flexed to Sunday night by the NFL, and the play on the field should live up to the hype. The Vikings and Bears are bitter rivals, and this will be a hard-hitting battle at Soldier Field. The Vikings were supposed to control the NFC North this season, but they need their defense to play better.

The Chicago Bears have been getting plenty of attention from the media this season, but have yet to beat a great opponent. The Bears get another chance on Sunday night, and they will finally get the big win they need. Look for Khalil Mack and the Bears defense to steal the show in this game. Bet the Chicago Bears -2.5 over the Vikings.

Bet on Thursday Night Football at MyBookie.