Locked into the No. 6 seed and a wild-card road game next week, the Minnesota Vikings look to build some confidence and playoff momentum Sunday when they wrap up the regular season against the Chicago Bears.
How to Watch
When: Sunday, Dec. 29
Time: 1:00 p.m. ET
Live Stream: fuboTV (try for free)
The Vikings (10-5) were relegated to the second wild-card spot after Monday night’s 23-10 home loss to the Green Bay Packers, who clinched the NFC North with the victory. Minnesota struggled to move the ball consistently without injured running back Dalvin Cook, something that will be under scrutiny again in this contest with Mike Zimmer holding out the 1,000-yard rusher as he tries to recover from a shoulder injury to be available for the wild-card game.
Backup Alexander Mattison also sat out Monday night’s loss with an ankle injury, which resulted in Mike Boone getting his first NFL start. The second-year back finished with only 28 yards on 11 carries, giving him 125 yards on 39 carries overall on there season.
Quarterback Kirk Cousins’ woes on Monday night continued in a sub-par performance in which he completed 16 of 31 passes for 122 yards with a touchdown and an interception, while being sacked five times.
Minnesota could face any of the division winners in the wild-card round except the NFC East champion, which is locked into the No. 4 seed by having the worst record of the quartet.
Chicago’s disappointing season will come to a conclusion with its sixth non-winning season in the last seven. The Bears’ reign as NFC North champions lasted one year as their offense failed to take the expected step forward under Mitch Trubisky and second-year coach Matt Nagy struggled to get his running game on track all season.
The Bears (7-8) have lost back-to-back games to division winners the last two weeks, showing the divide between themselves and the NFL’s elite. After a loss to archrival Green Bay, Trubisky was outplayed by Patrick Mahomes -- taken eight picks after Chicago moved up to select Trubisky No. 2 overall in 2017 -- in Chicago’s 26-3 home loss to Kansas City.
Trubisky went 18 of 34 for 157 yards without a touchdown or interception and did not have a completion longer than 20 yards. He also got little help from the running game, which has been the case most of the season. Rookie David Montgomery had 57 yards on 13 carries and has averaged 51.3 yards in his last nine games since his season-high 135-yard effort vs. Chargers in Week 8.
Trubisky was in for just the first six plays of Chicago’s 16-6 win over Minnesota in Week 4, suffering a shoulder injury in the first series. Chase Daniel guided the Bears to a touchdown on that opening drive and the defense forced a pair of turnovers that led to six points. Minnesota, which was held to 222 yards, is looking to avoid being swept by Chicago for the second straight year.