Published: Mon, December 31, 2018
Sport | By Tony Jimenez

Finally, a Bears-Vikings finale in Minnesota with meaning

Finally, a Bears-Vikings finale in Minnesota with meaning

The Minnesota Vikings control their own playoff destiny Sunday when they host the Chicago Bears, who are nearly locked into the No. 3 seed in the NFC playoffs.

This doesn't have the feeling of a regular week for Minnesota, which is facing a stunning early end the season a year after going 13-3 and making it to the NFC Championship. The team is trying to get into the playoffs as a wild card.

Nick Foles #9 of the Philadelphia Eagles scrambles from the pocket during the first half of a game against the Los Angeles Rams at Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on December 16, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. The Bears front seven dominated the Vikings offensive line for the second straight game enough to make the thought of seeing the same overmatched unit again in the playoffs inviting. The Bears have already clinched the NFC North but can clinck a first-round bye if they beat the Vikings and if the Rams lose to the 49ers.

To get the win, the Bears will look for easy first-down success to help temper the Vikings pass rush, which is first in the league with 50 sacks, writes Bears play-by-play announcer Jeff Joniak in his weekly Keys To The Game.

How appropriate that when Tarik Cohen scored a touchdown to make it 19-10 with 7:46 remaining, Nagy called for trickery on the two-point play, with Trubisky faking a handoff to cornerback Prince Amukamara and completing a pass to backup linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski.

"I'm optimistic", Foles said of his chances of playing next week. Gabriel had four catches for 61 yards in the first half. But that's also why the Vikings won't be the Bears' opponent - they're just not that good of a team.

If a single play ever encapsulated one game, this was it. Howard appeared playoff-ready with 109 yards on 21 carries as the offense possessed the ball for 37 minutes. Joseph constantly won his battles against Chicago's guards, as they were unable to move him on run plays. In any analysis of their performance, the defense they were going against must be considered-it's a very good one. The more you give you confidence to a visiting team, the fast and greater it builds.

"This is a playoff game", nose tackle Linval Joseph said.

The Bears utilized the run game for all three of their scores.

"We ain't sneaking in - we're kicking the m--f--ing door down", safety Malcolm Jenkins said during his postgame speech to the players. He set a franchise record for yards passing in a game with 471 in a 32-30 comeback win last week against Houston.

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