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Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings: Key information and first quarter discussion

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Alright, chums, let’s do this.

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Detroit Lions Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

It’s finally here, folks. Well, it’s not here here, yet, but it will be shortly.

We are now less than an hour away from kickoff at U.S. Bank Stadium between the Chicago Bears and your Minnesota Vikings in the 2018 regular season finale. We know what’s at stake for the purple. . .win this game and get into the playoffs. Lose this game, and there’s about a 99.9% chance that your season is over.

We don’t want that, do we?

Here is everything you need to know about today’s game:

Time: Sunday, 30 December 2018, 3:25 PM Central time

Location: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis, Minnesota

Television coverage: KMSP-9 in the Twin Cities, FOX affiliates throughout the country, DirecTV Ch 717

Radio coverage: Vikings Radio Network, Sirius Channel 113, XM Channel 231

Line: Minnesota -6, Over/Under 40.5

Prediction: Vikings 21, Bears 17

Three keys

1) Know where Khalil Mack is all the time - The Vikings need to assign two people to Khalil Mack from the minute he gets off the bus. In the locker room, on the sideline, on the field, in the restroom, wherever. He’s the one player on the Chicago defense that can single-handedly destroy the Vikings’ offensive game plan, and caused a lot of havoc the last time these two teams played. He’s going to make plays, but the Vikings have to do everything they can to limit his impact.

2) Ratchet up the intensity - The Vikings definitely can’t come out in this one the way they did against Detroit. If they don’t get a first down until the four-minute mark of the second quarter in this one, they’ll be home for the playoffs. If the Vikings can get off to a fast start and get a lead early, the Bears might start sitting some of their key players knowing they can’t better their position in the NFC playoff picture.

3) No big mistakes - In the first game between these two teams, Kirk Cousins made a couple of killer mistakes with an interception at the end of the first half and a pick-six that pretty much squelched any hope of winning the Vikings had. That can’t happen this afternoon. Minnesota’s defense is going to pressure Mitch Trubisky into mistakes in this one, but Cousins. . .and the rest of the offense. . .can’t match those mistakes.

If this team can play a complete game this afternoon, they’re completely capable of walking out with a victory and getting a rematch with this same Bears team in Chicago next weekend.

Know the Foe: Windy City Gridiron

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As usual, we will have a new Open Thread at the start of each quarter, so keep your eyes open for those. Other than that, everyone enjoy today’s big game, and hopefully we’ll all meet up back here again later to talk about the victory and look forward to next week’s game against the Bears.

SKOLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL VIKINGS!!!!