While the Chicago Bears won’t look to Game of Thrones or Braveheart battle scenes for motivation in Sunday’s game, you better believe they will rally themselves in preparation for Sunday’s NFC North showdown with the Minnesota Vikings. With Taylor Gabriel ruled out due to a concussion and Akiem Hicks and Kyle Long as game time decisons with knee and hip injuries respectively, the depth chart will be tested for the first time this season.  Last season starting with the Dolphins game and extending throughout the entire season, a key defensive and/or offensive player missed time due to injury. Mitch Trubisky, Khalil Mack, Allen Robinson, Eddie Jackson, Bryce Callahan, Kyle Long, and Anthony Miller all missed games and/or were ineffective due to a nagging injury. Matt Nagy and company will be prepared with Plan B and Plan C should Hicks or Long be unable to play. Expect Nagy to keep the offensive game plan balanced and scheme receivers open similar to last week and last season’s Miami game. Anthony Miller seems to be working himself out of the doghouse, expect him to play with a little more motivation and focus. While not having a burner at receiver could pose a problem, Nagy has shown himself adept at creating one on one match-ups. Played correctly Allen Robinson and Javon Wims stand to benefit with quick slants and back shoulder routes as the Vikings are giving up roughly 9.2 yards a passing play through the first three games. In addition, opposing quarterbacks have completed 71.9% of passes against them. These numbers should start the salivating for Nagy, Mark Helfrich, and Dave Ragone as they look to build on Mitchell Trubisky’s confidence and grasp of the playbook. Don’t sleep on the three headed monster of David Montgomery, Tarik Cohen, and Mike Davis. Montgomery took a step forward last week and showed the coaching staff he can shoulder the load if called upon. The Bears offensive line needs to step up, consistently open holes and provide Trubisky the time to pick apart the Vikings secondary. Quick hitters, run-play options, jet sweeps, wide receiver screens, and any other up tempo plays Nagy has in his playbook should be on display to get the offense in rhythm and wear down Minnesota’s defense. All the recent talk about the offense and its deficiencies will help light the fire that unifies them this week.

Defensively, Chuck Pagano is going to continue to “Unleash Hell” with his well timed blitzes and attacking mentality. All of the focus will be on the Bears defense to shut down current NFL rushing leader Dalvin Cook. The unknown availability of Akiem Hicks has fans and talking heads expressing concerns. Hicks’ prescence along the line will without a doubt help and as the leader of this defense, look for him to suit up and provide a boost that will help set the tone defensively. Johnathan Harris was brought up from the practice squad in the anticipation Hicks is unable to play, but the idea of Hicks playing this week and sitting out the Raider game next week makes more sense. Besides, the Bears still have Khalil Mack (that’s all that needs to be said).

(Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Paired with Leonard Floyd they are arguably the best all around defensive end tandem in the NFL. This dominance will continue as Kirk Cousins will continually feel pressure from all sides and his dismal record against teams with winning records will drop to 4-25. The Bears smell the blood in the water and already know Cousins’ tendencies when dealing with pressure. Eddie Jackson and Ha Ha Clinton-Dix will continue their ballhawking ways and be the cause of more interceptions and fumble recoveries. This unit will impose its will on the Vikings and lead our Chicago Bears to a dominant victory, establishing themselves as the team many thought they were in the preseason. LET’ GOOOOOOOOOOOOO BAAAAAABBBBBYYYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!! Bear Down!!!!