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Mike Zimmer isn’t fazed about playing in Chicago

Mike Florio and Chris Simms hand out their superlatives for Week 3, including something special brewing in the NFC North and Jacoby Brissett impressing in Indianapolis.

The Vikings have seven significant road games this year, road games that will largely determine whether the Vikings can make it back to the playoffs.

So far, they’re 0-1 in those key road games, losing when they could/should have won at Lambeau Field. Next comes a trip to Soldier Field in Chicago, and a game against the defending NFC North champions.

Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer doesn’t seem to be worried about returning to a place where he’s 2-3 as the Vikings head coach.

“I don’t know,” Zimmer said when asked by reporters to identify what makes it hard to win in Chicago. “That’s what everybody told me when I got here, then we won some games. I guess if you turn the ball over and you create penalties and you do dumb things it’s a pretty hard place to play. I think they’ve lost their last two at home.”

Indeed they have, to the Eagles in the playoffs and to the Packers on opening night. Of course, that could make it even harder for the Vikings on Sunday. Especially since the Vikings want to run the ball and the Bears haven’t allowed a 100-yard rusher since 2017.

“That doesn’t surprise me,” Zimmer said. “They may not this week, either, but it’s important that we try to run the football. Maybe we don’t get 100, but we get 98, so who cares? As long as we win the football game I don’t really care.”

Zimmer has said he wants balance in the offense, but in two wins the pendulum has swung toward Dalvin Cook and the running game. At some point, they may not be able to run, which will require quarterback Kirk Cousins to make a big throw in a big spot and to deliver a big win on the road, whether in Chicago or Detroit or Kansas City or Dallas or Seattle or L.A., against the Chargers.

Even if the Vikings win all of their eight home games, they’ll need to win in a couple of these hostile environments in order to get back to the postseason.