Chicago at Vikings
TCF Bank Stadium
TV: Ch. 9
Radio: 100.3-FM, 1130-AM
About the Bears (5-8)
• Chicago has lost back-to-back close games after Robbie Gould, the franchise’s all-time leading scorer, missed fourth-quarter field-goal attempts each week.
• Ten of the Bears’ 13 games have been decided by a one-possession margin, and six of those have been losses by a combined 25 points. The Bears lost 23-20 to the Vikings on Nov. 1 when Blair Walsh kicked a 36-yard field goal as time expired.
• Jay Cutler is on pace to finish with a career-best quarterback rating. He’s at 92.2 through 14 weeks. He threw 18 interceptions in 2014, but has only seven this season.
• The Bears started 0-3 but put themselves in position to make a late-season run after upsetting Green Bay 17-13 on Thanksgiving to pull within a game of .500 (5-6). They’ll likely miss the playoffs for the eighth time in the past nine years.
Player speak CB Tracy Porter
• Porter has put together a standout season with 25 tackles, one forced fumble and interception, and is two passes defended (10) shy of matching a career high. He might be the Bears’ best shot at landing a player in the Pro Bowl.
• Porter, then with New Orleans, helped spoil the Vikings’ Super Bowl hopes in the 2009 NFC Championship Game when he intercepted a Brett Favre pass late in the fourth quarter to force overtime.
• On the inability to build off the big Thanksgiving win: “We find a way to lose the game, and other teams find a way to win.”
• On his season: “My play, my confidence was never something that was in question. … It was just a matter of me being healthy and consistently staying healthy.”
Coach Speak John Fox
• Fox is in his first season leading the Bears and his 14th year as an NFL head coach. He’ll have to win at least two of the final three games to avoid his worst start as a head coach. In his first year with Carolina (2002) and Denver (2011), Fox was 7-9 and 8-8, respectively.
• Fox is 3-3 against the Vikings.
• On losing so many close games: “It’s just a matter of finishing. … We dug a hole as far as 0-3 [to start the season]. I think we’ve been fairly competitive ever since.’’
• On progress in the first year coaching the Bears: “Really, it’s been very positive. Obviously, I’d like to see us with 8-5 instead of 5-8. But that’s not reality. … I’ve been pleased with the way the guys have gone about their business.”