The Minnesota Vikings are locked into the No. 6 seed for the NFC playoffs as they conclude the regular season by hosting the Chicago Bears on Sunday. Minnesota was knocked out the NFC North division race by losing to the Green Bay Packers on Monday night while the Bears are missing the postseason for the eighth time in nine seasons.
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The Vikings are considering holding out key players, including quarterback Kirk Cousins, for the finale but coach Mike Zimmer might opt to play some of the offensive performers for at least part of the game after the Vikings had only seven first downs and 139 total yards in a feeble showing against Green Bay. "I think there's a bunch of things when you look back that we could have done better, and I'll start with myself, that I could have done better," offensive coordinator Kevin Stefanski told reporters. "... You talk about what you would do differently the next time, but then we've got to move on because we have a game coming up here versus Chicago." The Bears are in search of a win to avoid their fifth losing campaign in the past six seasons. "It's not easy, but we have to stay mentally focused knowing it's our obligation," Chicago coach Matt Nagy told reporters about competing hard in the finale. "There's a pride element I think for all of us, so that's what we'll be looking for."
TV: 1 p.m. ET, FOX. LINE: Vikings -1 O/U: 36.5
ABOUT THE BEARS (7-8): Chicago has scored 16 total points while losing to the Packers and Kansas City Chiefs in its past two games after averaging 24.7 points over the previous three contests. Quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, selected second overall in 2017, spent all last week hearing about how the Bears didn't pick Patrick Mahomes (No. 10) and then laid an egg against the Chiefs with 157 passing yards in the 26-3 loss. Linebacker Khalil Mack (8.5 sacks, five forced fumbles) has a chance at his fifth straight double-digit sack campaign.
ABOUT THE VIKINGS (10-5): Star running back Dalvin Cook (shoulder, chest) will sit out his second straight game and backup Alexander Mattison (ankle) could also miss the contest which would leave Mike Boone (28 yards on 11 carries versus Green Bay) in a starting role for the second straight week. Standout linebacker Eric Kendricks (team-high 110 tackles) recovered two fumbles before leaving in the second quarter against Green Bay with a left quadriceps injury and he won't play against the Bears. Star defensive end Danielle Hunter is tied for third in the NFL with 14.5 sacks to match his career best set last season.
1. The Bears have won the past three meetings, including a 16-6 at home Sept. 29.
2. Chicago WR Allen Robinson has a career-best 89 receptions but his 1,076 yards are well behind the 1,400 he compiled for the Jacksonville Jaguars in 2015.
3. Minnesota WR Stefon Diggs, who has a career-high 1,130 receiving yards, has seven touchdown receptions in eight career contests against the Bears.
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