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Week 4 Game Recap: Minnesota Vikings 6, Chicago Bears 16


What you need to know

Minnesota Vikings

The wheels look to be falling off in Minnesota already as the struggles of Kirk Cousins continue. Minnesota knocked Mitchell Trubisky out of the game on the first drive and held the Bears offense to just 16 points. Unfortunately, Cousins was ineffective, missed open receivers, and the team fumbled away multiple opportunities to stay in the game. Dalvin Cook could not get anything going on the ground and the offensive line gave up 6 sacks for a loss of 51 yards this week. Many fans in Minnesota are questioning whether it is time to move on from Cousins already. Adam Thielen was quoted saying ìYou have to be able to throw the ball, in direct reference to the struggles of the offense and Cousins especially. Minnesota will travel to take on the Giants and Daniel Jones next Sunday as they try to figure out what is wrong with Cousins and find some sort of spark on offense.

Chicago Bears

The Chicago Bears beat the Minnesota Vikings based on a strong defensive performance. Chicago lost starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to an injury on his non-throwing shoulder. Chase Daniel replaced Trubisky and kept the offense on schedule and turned to Allen Robinson as a feature element in the passing game. David Montgomery dominated the running back touches but struggled to create yards in the running game.

Minnesota Vikings

QB Kirk Cousins, 62 offensive snaps, Pass: 27 - 36 - 233 - 0 TD / 0 INT
It is tough when everyone in the building knows you are the problem and everything you are trying just is not working. Cousins may not have thrown an interception this week, but he did put the ball on the ground twice and was sacked 6 times. Several drives were killed when he held the ball too long or simply missed wide open receivers. Teams are starting to stack the box against Cook because they know Cousins is not going to beat them through the air. Cousins had a single nice play this week when he completed a 39-yard pass to Stefon Diggs. HE may have completed 75% of his passes this week, but he was off the mark when it really mattered. The connection with Adam Thielen is all but gone this season as Cousins just cannot find him down the field. Thielen had multiple steps on his defender in the first half and Cousins threw the ball 5 yards over his head on what should have been an easy touchdown. He is throwing the ball behind him on crossing routes and having the ball sail on comebacks. Cousins has the benefit of a massive guaranteed contract right now, but the Vikings will have to seriously consider moving on if he does not start to play better.

RB Dalvin Cook, 49 offensive snaps, Rush: 14 - 35 - 1, Rec: 6 - 35 - 0 (8 targets)
Cook fell a single yard behind Christian McCaffrey for the league lead in rushing yards after the Vikings brutal offensive performance against the Bears this week. The offensive line could not block their way out of a paper bag this week and there were no holes for Cook to run through. His longest run of the night went for 9 yards and he could not find the same success of the edge that he has all season. Cook finally broke through in the 4th quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run but it was too little too late for an offense that missed the 2-point conversion and then turned the ball over on downs the next drive. Cook caught 6 of his 8 targets out of the back field with his longest going for 13 yards. He ended with 70 total yards on the day against a Bears defense that was missing 2 of its starters. Cook is going to see an extra man in the box going forward until Cousins can show that he can throw the ball over the top. It has been a great start for Cook but things are going to get much tougher in the coming weeks.

RB Alexander Mattison, 6 offensive snaps, Rush: 2 - 5 - 0, Rec: 1 - 8 - 0 (1 targets)
The usage for Mattison is always going to depend on how well things are going for Cook and this week things did not go well for anyone. There was no room to run on the ground for the Vikings and Mattison was only given 2 carries this week. After breaking through for his first career touchdown last week, it was a very quiet game this week. Mattison caught his lone target for 8 yards and had just 3 touches the entire game. Mattison needs the offense to click in order to receiver more touches and that is not going to happen unless Cousins starts to play better.

WR Stefon Diggs, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 108 - 0 (7 targets)
The only person in the offense who produced this week was Diggs. He caught all 7 of his targets and had his first 100-yard game of the season. He also chipped in a big 39-yard catch that showed Cousins can still push the ball down the field. Unfortunately, his day was dampened by a fumble on their last offensive drive before half time. Diggs looked to catch the ball across the middle for 10 yards before having the ball come loose and picked up by the Bears. The play was originally ruled incomplete but was challenged by Chicago. After the replay, it was ruled that Diggs had caught the ball, made a football move, fumbled the ball, and there was a clear recovery by the Bears. Chicago proceeded to go 57 yards in 20 plays and run more than 6 and a half minutes of the clock before kicking a field goal to send it to half. Diggs has had a tough start to the season and will only see that continue until they can get better play from Cousins.

WR Adam Thielen, 59 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 6 - 0 (6 targets)
After getting off to a great start last season, Thielen has seen a steep decline this year. There looks to be no chemistry with Cousins now and every pass that comes his way seems to be off the mark. Thielen caught 2 of his 6 targets this week and found himself venting to the media after the game. Cousins missed Thielen up the seam for what should have been an easy touchdown after he beat his man. The ball was thrown 5 yards too far down the field despite Thielen having more than 2 yards of a cushion on his defender. This was a throw that any quarterback in the NFL should be able to make. Thielen came into the year talking about being a team player and wanting to win over personal stats. This philosophy may go out the window if the offense continues to struggle the way it has.

TE Irv Smith, 29 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 5 - 0 (1 targets)
Smith was unable to build off of his big game a week ago. He had a single target and reception this week and did not challenge Rudolph for more playing time going forward. Smith projects out as the more athletic tight end but does not appear to be ready in this offense just yet. By the end of the season it will be Smith headlining the tight end group, but it is still too early to pass the torch.

TE Kyle Rudolph, 52 offensive snaps, Rec: 1 - 12 - 0 (1 targets)
We have to start to wonder if the struggles from Rudolph this year have more to do with Cousins than the declining play of Rudolph. He was pushed for playing time by Irv Smith last week and only saw a single target and catch for 12 yards again this week. However, Smith only had a single target and catch for 5 yards and no receiver in the offense found the end zone this week. The Viking offense is struggling outside of the running game this season and Rudolph is suffering because of it. It looked as if he was going to lose playing time to Smith last week but may have bought himself some more time with everyone else struggling around him.


Chicago Bears

QB Chase Daniel, 66 offensive snaps, Pass: 22 - 30 - 195 - 1 TD / 0 INT, Rush: 5 - 4 - 0
The Chicago Bears beat the Minnesota Vikings based on a strong defensive performance. Chicago lost starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to an injury on his non-throwing shoulder. Chase Daniel replaced Trubisky and kept the offense on schedule and turned to Allen Robinson as a feature element in the passing game. David Montgomery dominated the running back touches but struggled to create yards in the running game.

QB Mitchell Trubisky, 6 offensive snaps, Pass: 2 - 3 - 9 - 0 TD / 0 INT
The Chicago Bears beat the Minnesota Vikings based on a strong defensive performance. Chicago lost starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky to an injury on his non-throwing shoulder. Chase Daniel replaced Trubisky and kept the offense on schedule and turned to Allen Robinson as a feature element in the passing game. David Montgomery dominated the running back touches but struggled to create yards in the running game.

RB David Montgomery, 50 offensive snaps, Rush: 21 - 53 - 0, Rec: 3 - 14 - 0 (5 targets)
David Montgomery entered the game behind Tarik Cohen but took over the lead role in the backfield upon his entry. Montgomery was primarily used on running plays but did get work in the passing game. Montgomery had a drop and was tackled on a busted screen play. Montgomery struggled to get running room and ran like a plodder with a long carry of seven yards. The offense is limited by the quarterback position and as a result, Montgomery has little room to run. Montgomery will face the Raiders in week five.

RB Tarik Cohen, 28 offensive snaps, Rush: 5 - 11 - 0, Rec: 2 - 7 - 1 (5 targets)
Tarik Cohen was the first running back in the game against the Minnesota Vikings but was out-touched by David Montgomery 24 to 7. Cohen was used in the running game early in the game, but Montgomery was the primary ball carrier through much of the game. Cohen managed a touchdown on a route out of the backfield where he beat Anthony Barr in man coverage. He had the opportunity for another big play on a wheel route but bobbled it along the sideline and the pass was ruled incomplete. Cohen’s role has been capped in the offense with the need to produce a touchdown to maintain fantasy viability in weekly scoring.

WR Allen Robinson, 63 offensive snaps, Rec: 7 - 77 - 0 (7 targets)
Allen Robinson had a strong game against the Minnesota Vikings. Robinson had a good rapport with Chase Daniel who replaced Mitchell Trubisky after his shoulder injury in the first quarter. He had multiple tough catches, including a slant and two diving catches. He was a featured element of the passing offense and made critical plays for the offense. He could have had a bigger day, with a big play on the perimeter, but the play was called back by his own offensive pass interference. Robinson arguably has a better fantasy prospect with Chase Daniel at quarterback so Trubisky’s injury status will be important to monitor during the week.

TE Trey Burton, 42 offensive snaps, Rec: 2 - 16 - 0 (4 targets)
Trey Burton continued to reintegrate himself into the offense in week four against the Vikings. He dropped a short target but later caught a crossing route and a short slant on an RPO. There are no consistent receiving options in the offense after Allen Robinson, so Burton has the ability to grow into a role in the offense in future weeks. He will face the Raiders in week five.