The Chicago Bears (7-8) travel to Minnesota for a Week 17 tilt with the Vikings (10-5) to complete the two-game season series between the two. While both teams seek to end their regular seasons on a high note, the Vikings have clinched a playoff spot while the Bears were eliminated a while back.
The Vikings hold the 60-54-2 all-time series lead, but the Bears have won the last three matchups including their prior matchup this year in Chicago and their last matchup in Minnesota in 2018.
The Bears and Vikings are coming off primetime losses to the Chiefs and Packers, respectively.
Mitchell Trubisky hit the 300-completion plateau in Week 16 and will look to build on that this week as he aims for 3,000 passing yards on the season. He is currently at 2,931. Across the field, Kirk Cousins has completed 307 passes for 3,603 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Chicago rookie David Montgomery has shown flashes of potential on the ground with 776 rushing yards and a handful of touchdowns. However, Dalvin Cook is a whole new beast for Minnesota, putting himself just slightly behind Christian McCaffrey in the bid for the league’s best running back.
Through the air, Allen Robinson leads the Bears with 89 catches for 1,076 yards and seven scores. For Minnesota, Adam Thielen has played solid football when active, but his recurring injuries have forced Stefon Diggs into the role of Minnesota’s leading receiver with 63 catches for 1,130 yards and six scores.
In a somewhat unexpected twist, the Vikings’ defense has been better than the Bears’, a stunning development considering the events of 2018. Khalil Mack leads the Bears with 8.5 sacks and Kyle Fuller is on top with three interceptions. Minnesota’s leaders include Danielle Hunter with a whopping 14.5 sacks and Anthony Harris with an impressive 6.5 injuries.
What’s at stake?
Well, not a lot is at stake here. The Bears’ outcome will impact their spot in the draft order, but it won’t hinder them in the first round considering they traded this year’s selection to the Raiders in the Khalil Mack swap. As for Minnesota, they wind up with the No. 6 pick no matter what.
The Bears will be without receiver Taylor Gabriel and defensive tackles Eddie Goldman and Akiem Hicks on Sunday as all three have already been ruled out with injuries. Offensive tackles Rashaad Coward and Bobby Massie are doubtful while cornerback Prince Amukamara is questionable. Defensive tackle Bilal Nichols popped up on the injury report on Friday, listed as limited, but does not have an injury designation heading into Sunday.
The Vikings have several starters banged up but are expected to bench the majority of their impactful starters, anyways. Running back Dalvin Cook and linebacker Eric Kendricks have been ruled out and cornerback Mackensie Alexander, safety Jayron Kearse, and running back Alexander Mattison are questionable. Mattison is likely to be inactive again, sliding rookie Mike Boone into the starting role for the second straight week. Kirk Cousins is expected to be a healthy scratch with Sean Mannion starting his first career game.
The Vikings are planning to treat Sunday’s game as a mini bye. Plan is for Kirk Cousins, Dalvin Cook, Eric Kendricks and other starters not to play, according to a source. The Vikings are the No. 6 seed in NFC playoffs regardless of outcome.@CourtneyRCronin had the news first.
— Chad Graff (@ChadGraff) December 27, 2019
Date: Sunday, Dec. 29, 2019
Time: 1:00 p.m. EST
Venue: U.S. Bank Stadium
Location: Minneapolis, Minn.
Spread: MIN +3.5
Moneyline: CHI -159, MIN +140
The Vikings are resting their starters and I expect the Bears to capitalize on this. The Bears’ defense will be all over Sean Mannion, causing him to make ill-advised throws. The Vikings will still find the end zone twice, but the Bears will edge them out in an essentially meaningless game.
Final score: Bears 24, Vikings 20