The Vikings are playing for a first-round bye; the Bears could be looking for a new coach by Monday. While Chicago may have an inspired effort for John Fox, the Vikings haven’t had many lapses this season. It seems unlikely they’d have one Sunday.
Prediction: Vikings 20, Bears 10.
Three big story lines
Vikings going for bye DYI-style
All of the teams that can help the Vikings get a first-round bye play after the Vikings and Bears. With no guarantee of outside help, the Vikings plan to take care of things themselves.
Trubisky, take two
Bears rookie quarterback Mitch Trubisky made his first career start against the Vikings on Oct. 9. Since then, he’s completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,887 yards, six touchdowns and six interceptions. “Seems like he knows where to go with the football a lot better now,” coach Mike Zimmer said.
Vikings break in new snapper
With veteran long snapper Kevin McDermott out because of a dislocated left shoulder, the Vikings turn to Jeff Overbaugh, whom they signed last week.
Two key matchups
Vikings offensive line vs. Bears DT Akiem Hicks
The Vikings had trouble with Hicks in October, when the tackle posted two sacks and three tackles for loss. He’s become one of the league’s better run defenders, and given that the Vikings could have several players shifting spots in Pat Elflein’s absence, Hicks could take advantage of the changes for another big day.
Vikings pass rush vs. Bears QB Mitch Trubisky
Given the Vikings’ recent troubles allowing big plays to running quarterbacks, they’ll have to make sure they’re disciplined as they come after Trubisky, who’s averaging 9.5 yards per scramble this season.
One stat that matters
26 Touchdowns the Bears defense has allowed this season, which ranks third behind the Vikings (23) and Jaguars (25).
The Vikings will win if …
• They can keep Trubisky from making plays outside the pocket and guard against big plays. The Bears scored a 38-yard touchdown on a fake punt in October.
The Bears will win if …
• Trubisky’s mobility gives the Vikings trouble and the Bears get a few long runs from Jordan Howard and Tarik Cohen.
Goessling’s win probability