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Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings: First Quarter Open Thread

Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports


Date: 20 December 2015
Location: Minneapolis, MN
Time: 12:00 PM Central Stadium: TCF Bank Stadium
DirecTV Ch 710
Radio: Vikings Radio Network
XM Ch 226
Sirius Ch 83
TV Announcers: Kevin Burkhardt
John Lynch
Know Thy Foe: Windy City Gridiron
Weather: 38 degrees, winds from the S at 5 MPH, 0% chance of rain
Line: Minnesota -6, Over/Under 43 (Thanks to the SB Nation Odds Page)
Chris' Prediction: Vikings 27, Bears 21
Final Score: Vikings 38, Bears 17

Here are the ground rules for the Game Threads:

-Thou shalt not link illegal feeds of today's game, or I shall kick thy arse to the curb until the game is over. Do not promote then, do not mention them, do not even hint at them. Thou hast been warned.

-Thou shalt make an attempt to keep the swearing to a minimum. Understandable that it will slip occasionally, but do try to limit it. If you really feel the need to curse, use the spoiler tags to keep it covered up. We'll get the sentiment.

-Thou shalt not feed the trolls. Rather, thou shall simply point them out, and they shall be banished to the fires of Mordor. Or Wisconsin. Whichever we feel is more harsh at the time.

-Thou shalt not engage in racist, sexist, or other such insulting rhetoric. Somebody disagreeing with you does not make them racist or sexist. It means they disagree with you. Talk it out like adults.

-Thou shalt not bait the fans of other teams into trolling.

-Basically, thou shalt not be a jackwagon in the game thread.

We're just about ready to kick off Week 15 in the National Football League, as the Minnesota Vikings will host the Chicago Bears in an NFC North division battle. With a victory today, and a couple of other things happening, the Vikings could wrap up a playoff spot before they walk off the field this afternoon.

So, how can they make that happen?

1) Get pressure on Jay Cutler - The Vikings only managed to sack Mr. Don't Care one time in their Week 8 match-up at Soldier Field, and with Cutler's receivers and offensive line having some injury issues, the defensive line needs to do a much better job of getting to him in this match-up. The Vikings are still shuffling things around in the secondary a bit with the injury to Harrison Smith, and it would be beneficial to them if Everson Griffen, Sharrif Floyd, and Brian Robison could knock Cutler around a bit.

2) Bring back the Arizona game plan on offense - The Bears' defense isn't at the same level as Arizona's defense, but the Vikings moved the ball very well against the Cardinals thanks to a short, quick passing game. Even though Adrian Peterson has had a lot of success against the Bears and Chicago is weak against the run, on the occasions that they need to throw the ball, Minnesota needs less of the seven-step dropback game and more of the shorter developing routes that were successful against a very good Arizona secondary.

3) Keep winning on special teams - In the last match-up between these teams, the Vikings got a big punt return for a touchdown from Marcus Sherels, and the Bears muffed a couple of punts. Chicago kicker Robbie Gould, normally one of the league's most reliable kickers, has been struggling over the past couple of weeks as well, while Blair Walsh has mostly been solid this season. If the Vikings can win the third phase of the game, it could go a long way towards them winning the first two.

At this point in the season, every game is a "must-win" for any team in the post-season race. The Vikings can punch their ticket to the tournament with a victory today and some help, and even if they don't get that help today, a victory in this one would make them a virtual lock for the post-season going forward. Here's hoping that a lot of the drama can go by the wayside today and the Vikings can get the job done.

We're less than an hour away from kickoff, ladies and gentlemen. Thank you for spending your Sunday with us.