The Minnesota Vikings have as much talent any team in the NFC North. With the division looking like it’s going to be the NFL’s best, Kirk Cousins and Co. are going to have to start beating good teams on the road if they want to finish in first place.

The team failed its first test of the 2019 NFL season when it visited the Green Bay Packers in Week 2. Falling into an early 21-0 hole, Minnesota was unable to complete the comeback, even as they shut out Green Bay over the game’s final 44 minutes and reached the red zone in the fourth quarter with a chance to take the lead.

More specifically, it was Cousins who came up short, completing fewer than half of his passes and committing three turnovers. It’s the type of game that’s plagued the quarterback throughout his career, and one that could rear its ugly head Sunday when the Vikings visit the Chicago Bears.

Minnesota is a two-point underdog at Soldier Field in Week 4, according to the latest betting line at OddsShark. In a contest featuring two of the league’s best defenses, the over/under is only 38.

Chicago’s defense might be just as good as it was in 2018 when the Bears won the NFC North. The Bears went 2-0 against the Vikings last year, outscoring Minnesota 49-34 in two contests that weren’t particularly close.

Cousins was limited to 132 passing yards in a Week 17 loss to Chicago with a playoff spot in the line. A month earlier, the quarterback was picked off twice and the Minnesota rushing attack was held to 22 yards on 14 attempts.

In the final nine games of last season, the Vikings went 0-5 against teams that would finish the year above .500, losing by an average of 11.4 points per game. It gave Cousins a 5-25 career record against winning teams.

If his Week 2 performance against Green Bay is any indication, Cousins isn’t ready to break that trend.

Kirk Cousins Khalil Mack
Khalil Mack #52 of the Chicago Bears rushes against Kirk Cousins #8 of the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field on November 18, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Vikings have a shot to win a low-scoring game. Cousins is more trustworthy than Mitchell Trubisky, who has played like one of the league’s worst starting quarterbacks this season. The Vikings are only giving up 225.7 passing yards per game. Trubisky’s season-high is 231 yards through the air.

Chicago’s quarterback didn’t throw for more than 165 yards in either game against Minnesota last season. It didn’t stop the Bears from winning both contests handily.

The Bears can still get after the quarterback as well as anyone. Chicago has 11 sacks in three games with Khalil Mack continuing to wreck opposing offenses and Leonard Floyd playing at a high level.

It’s a bad matchup for Minnesota, whose offensive line remains somewhat shaky. Dalvin Cook and the Vikings’ No.2 ranked rushing attack won’t be able to carry the offense the way it has over the season’s first three weeks.

Prediction: Chicago over Minnesota, 17-13