NFL Football

33
Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Chicago 10 10 7 6 33
Minnesota 7 3 10 7 27
27
10:00 AM PT11:00 AM MT12:00 PM CT1:00 PM ET18:00 GMT2:00 11:00 AM MST1:00 PM EST12:00 PM CT22:00 UAE13:00 ET16:00 , December 20, 2020
U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota  Attendance: 0

Bears-Vikings Preview

According to STATS
According to STATS

Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings

  1. The Bears snapped their six-game losing streak with a 36-7 victory over the Texans last week. The 36 points and the 29-point margin are both team-best marks since a 41-9 win versus Buffalo in Week 9 of the 2018 season.
  2. Allen Robinson II matched a season high with 123 receiving yards last week, giving him 1027 this year. He is the fifth Bear ever to have back-to-back seasons with 1000+ receiving yards, along with Alshon Jeffery (2013-14), Brandon Marshall (2012-13), Marty Booker (2001-02) and Curtis Conway (1995-96).
  3. The Vikings lost in Tampa last week, 26-14, falling back under .500 on the year and surpassing their regular-season loss total from last season (10-6). Minnesota is averaging 21.5 points per game on the road this season compared to 29.1 at home, largest difference (+7.6; home better) in the league this year.
  4. Dalvin Cook had his seventh game this season with 100+ rushing yards and his sixth with 100+ yards and a rushing touchdown. His six such games are tied with Adrian Peterson in 2008 for the second most all-time in a single season by a Viking, trailing only Peterson's eight games in 2012.
  5. The Vikings' 19-13 win in Chicago in Week 10 stopped the Bears' four-game winning streak in this series. Chicago has prevailed in the last two meetings in Minnesota and have not won three straight there since 1983-85.
  6. Mitchell Trubisky is 4-2 in his career versus the Vikings, including 4-0 in the last four meetings. He has a 72.5 passer rating in those six matchups, the fourth-lowest mark for any quarterback versus a single opponent since 2017 (minimum 150 pass attempts).
Team Comparison

Chicago
 
Minnesota
21.7 Points 25.6
246.6 Pass Yds 253.7
93.2 Rush Yds 146.9
14 Takeaways 17
(AP Photo/Jason Behnken)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) When the Minnesota Vikings finished their debut 2016 season at U.S. Bank Stadium, the game against the Chicago Bears between two eliminated teams was so perfunctory that oil pipeline protesters managed to rappel from the roof to unfurl a banner and become the stars of the show.

In 2017, with the Bears again buried in the standings well before, the finale was staged in the same place. The Vikings already had their first-round bye sewed up.

The division rivals were - deja vu! - matched up on a copied-and-pasted Week 17 schedule in 2018, too. Chicago's NFC North title and seed for the playoffs was secure. The Vikings could have snagged a spot for themselves with a win, but they fell flat from the start and sucked most of the air out of the increased intrigue by halftime.

Guess who came to Minnesota for the last game of 2019? Sure enough, Chicago showed up for a meaningless matchup with the home team that already had a wild-card berth clinched.

Maybe the game just needed to be moved up a bit.

Though the Bears are again the assigned opponent this year for the Vikings' home finale, they'll square off on Sunday in Week 15. Plus, both teams are 6-7 and in must-win mode for the postseason race. Arizona leads them by one game for the third wild-card spot.

"There's nothing to overhype about it. We just know what's at stake," Vikings running back Dalvin Cook, whose team lost control of the final position with a 26-14 defeat at Tampa Bay last week.

After the Bears stopped a six-game losing streak last week with a 36-7 victory over Houston, coach Matt Nagy made a point to mention the standings in meeting with the players this week.

"Obviously winning the division is no longer realistic," Nagy said, "but we want to do everything we can to be able to get into those extra games and in the playoffs."

Here are some key angles to follow:

PROTECTION PLAN

Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, who has had plenty of trouble with Chicago's pass rush over the past two seasons, matched a career high by taking six sacks last week. The Bears are only 16th in the league in sacks per pass attempt this season, but they notched seven sacks last week.

"I always look at myself and say, `How can I get rid of the ball quicker?' Cousins said. "Whether that's a completion or a throwaway, when you start to feel that pocket condensing, you've either got to take off or you want to throw the ball away. Sacks are the last option."

TRUBISKY'S TURNAROUND

In three games since returning as Chicago's starting quarterback following the injury to Nick Foles, Mitchell Trubisky has completed 67.3% of his passes with seven touchdowns, two interceptions and a 100-even passer rating in that span.

The second overall pick in the 2017 draft has improved enough that he's even thought about the possibility of re-signing with the team that declined his contract option for 2021 and benched him three games into the season.

"But thoughts come and go, and right now I've just got to stay focused on what's about to happen this weekend and that's just preparing every day for the Vikings," Trubisky said.

JUST KICKING IT

After stumbling through their share of kicking trouble over the past few years, the Bears have finally found a groove with Cairo Santos - who has made 18 straight field goals and is on pace to break Robbie Gould's single-season franchise record for field goal percentage.

The Vikings are in crisis mode. Dan Bailey has missed three of four extra points and four of six field goals over the past two games, putting his status on the team in question.

"We'll go with our gut and do what we believe and believe that, whichever decision we make, it's the right one," coach Mike Zimmer said. "It's all you can do."

FLASHBACK

Zimmer was livid on the sideline in Chicago on Nov. 16 when Bailey sent the second-half kickoff straight to three-time All-Pro returner Cordarrelle Patterson, who took it back for a touchdown. The Vikings won that game 19-13, but his former team will be plenty wary of a repeat.

"He's unbelievable with the ball in his hands," said Vikings wide receiver Adam Thielen, a close friend and former roommate of Patterson. "Every play has a chance to go the distance."

LINE `EM UP

The Bears have averaged 30.3 points over their past three games, with their revamped offensive line playing a part. Sam Mustipher was inserted at center, Cody Whitehair moved to left guard and Alex Bars and Germain Ifedi were tabbed as the right guard and right tackle.

Against Detroit and Houston the past two weeks, the Bears posted their second and third-highest yardage totals of the season.

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Updated December 17, 2020

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