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No doubt about it now, the Bears really are serious about winning the NFC North.

 

Khalil Mack had a sack and fumble recovery, Eddie Jackson returned an interception for a touchdown and Chicago tightened its grip on the division with a 25-20 victory over the second-place Minnesota Vikings on Sunday night.

 

Mack and Jackson led a dominant effort by the defense. And Chicago (7-3) took a big step toward its first division championship since 2010.

 

The Bears won their fourth in a row, their longest streak since a six-game run in 2012. Chicago finished 10-6 that year, missed the playoffs and fired coach Lovie Smith after that season.

 

The Monsters of the Midway simply dominated Minnesota on Sunday, taking out the defending division champions after beating three struggling teams - the New York Jets, Buffalo Bills and Detroit Lions.

 

The Bears also have victories the past two weeks over NFC North opponents after dropping 10 in a row against division foes.

 

Chicago suffocated the Vikings (5-4-1), with big advantages in total yards (308-268) and time of possession (34:29-25:31) even though quarterback Mitchell Trubisky had his difficulties.

 

The Bears were leading by eight midway through the fourth quarter when Jackson picked off a pass from Kirk Cousins that was intended for Laquon Treadwell. His 27-yard TD return and a 2-point conversion pass from Trubisky to Adam Shaheen made it 22-6.

 

Cousins then threw a 13-yard TD to Aldrick Robsinon and a 2-point conversion to Adam Thielen, making it 22-14. But Cody Parkey kicked to 48-yard field goal with 2:48 left. And the Bears hung on from there.

 

Trubisky was 20 of 31 for 165 yards and a touchdown. But he was intercepted two times by Anthony Harris.

 

Parkey shook off a performance unlike any other by making all three of his field goal attempts. It was a big improvement over the previous week, when he hit uprights four times while missing two field goals and two extra points against Detroit.

 

Cousins was consistently under pressure and finished 30 of 46 for 262 yards. He threw two touchdowns in the final 4:51 and got intercepted two times.

 

Stefon Diggs had 13 catches for 126 yards and a TD. But the Vikings came up short after winning four of five.

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