The 11-4 Chicago Bears will travel to Minnesota to take on the 8-6-1 Vikings in this Sunday afternoon. While the Bears have wrapped up the NFC North title, the Vikings are still trying to secure the NFC Wild Card Spot. Both teams are coming off big wins last week where their defenses held their opponents to single digits. The Bears clinched at least the 3rd seed in the division with a 14-9 road victory over the San Francisco 49ers. If they beat the Vikings and the Rams lose, the Bears will then earn a first round bye. Minnesota won its second game in a row with a 27-9 road win over the Detroit Lions. They control their own destiny as a victory over Chicago gets them in. Even with a loss they have a chance if all the other Wild Card hopefuls also lose.
The Bears defense shined against the 49ers allowing just 3 second quarter field goals. They completely shut the run game down allowing San Francisco to gain just 47 yards on 15 carries. They intercepted Nick Mullens once and had a sack. Chicago has had a top 5 ranked defense all season and has allowed their opponents to average 18.2 points and 329.3 yards per game. Offensively, Mitchell Trubisky finished with a passer rating of 113.5. He completed 25 of 29 passes for 246 yards, 1 touchdown and 0 interceptions. His favorite target was Allen Robinson III who had 6 catches for 85 yards. He spread the ball around as 10 different Bears receivers caught passes. The team rushed for 90 yards on 23 carries with Jordan Howard leading the team with 53 yards and a touchdown.
Kirk Cousins played well in the Viking’s most important game of the season last week finishing with a passer rating of 137.9. He completed 21 of 28 passes for 253 yards, 3 touchdowns and 0 interceptions. His favorite target was Kyle Rudolph who had 9 catches for 122 yards and 2 touchdowns. They ran the ball 28 times and gained 100 yards which is an average of 3.6 yards per carry. Dalvin Cook led the team with 73 yards while also catching another 3 passes for 35 additional yards. On the season, the Vikings offense has averaged 23.3 points and 373 yards per game. Defensively, they did not force a turnover but did have 3 sacks and 12 tackles for losses. They allowed the Lions to gain 86 rushing yards on 23 carries which is an average of 3.7 yards per run.
Minnesota will have home field advantage and are favored by 5 points. They have gone 8-6-1 against the spread including 5-2 at home. The Bears have gone 11-4 against the spread including 4-3 on the road. Because they secured the division title last week, the Bears could opt to rest some players or not show their full game plan because their first round opponent could be these Vikings. This is a must win game for the Vikings and the fans at U.S. Bank stadium will be more than ready.
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