Sunday Snapshot: Vikings vs. Bears

The NFL experts from The Sports Xchange come up with everything you need to know prior to Sunday's contest, as the Chicago Bears are set to take on the Minnesota Vikings in Week 10 at Soldier Field.

SUNDAY SNAPSHOT
Kickoff: 12:00 p.m. Central
Surface: Natural Grass
Television: FOX – Kenny Albert, Daryl Johnston, Tony Siragusa
Series History: 98th regular-season meeting. Vikings lead series, 52-43-2. The Bears and Vikings have split the last four meetings, with the home team winning each time. The Bears won the only postseason meeting, 35-18 in January 1995.

KEYS TO THE GAME
Vikings QB Brett Favre needs his receivers – possibly including WR Sidney Rice – to respond in this must-win spot. The trouble is, he's not sure who he'll have on the field. Rice was questionable as of Thursday, and Percy Harvin, who has performed at a Pro Bowl level, was battling a migraine headache. TE Visanthe Shiancoe (9-91-2 in two games vs. Chicago last season) can get behind the Bears' linebackers in the Cover 2. If Favre gets on a hot streak, the Bears should sweat knowing RB Adrian Peterson averages 122.2 yards per game in six games vs. Chicago. The Bears have become too reliant on QB Jay Cutler and the passing game behind a subpar front five. If the Bears forget about RBs Matt Forte and Chester Taylor, it plays into the hands of the Vikings' solid front seven.

FAST FACTS
Peterson has a rushing touchdown in six straight games vs. Chicago and had at least 20 rushing attempts in each of those games. ... Cutler had four TD passes in the last meeting.


C Olin Kreutz
Scott Boehm/Getty

PERSONNEL NEWS
Bears:
C Olin Kreutz (hamstring) missed a second straight day of practice Thursday, but he is still expected to start Sunday. Kreutz has started 126 straight games, and the only game he's missed in the past 10 years was in 2002, one week after an appendectomy. ... CB Zack Bowman (foot) was limited Thursday for the second straight day, but he is expected to play Sunday after missing two games. ... CB Tim Jennings, who replaced Bowman as the starter during the third game this season, was back to full participation Thursday after being limited Wednesday by a sore knee. ... CB D.J. Moore (head), who leads the Bears with three interceptions, even though, as the nickel back, he's only on the field in passing situations, was back to full speed Thursday. ... G Roberto Garza would be the emergency fill-in at center if, by some surprise, Kreutz cannot play.

Vikings: CB Asher Allen (concussion) did not practice for the second day in a row Thursday, and it appears doubtful he will play Sunday. Allen likely would be replaced as the starting right corner by rookie Chris Cook. ... S Jamarca Sanford did not practice Wednesday or Thursday after injuring his hamstring Sunday against Arizona. ... Favre returned to practice on a limited basis Thursday after sitting out for the third Wednesday in a row, as he rested the stress fracture in his left ankle and fracture in his left heel. It's likely Favre will take Wednesdays off on a regular basis in order to give him three days of rest after games. ... OT Phil Loadholt (knee) was limited Wednesday and Thursday but likely will start Sunday. ... DT Pat Williams continues to battle an elbow issue that limited him in practice Wednesday and Thursday. ... DE Everson Griffen was listed with a shoulder injury but did not miss any of practice Wednesday or Thursday. ... CB Lito Sheppard remains on the injury report because of a hand injury but did not miss any of practice Wednesday or Thursday. ... CB Frank Walker remains on the injury report because of a hamstring injury but did not miss any of practice Wednesday or Thursday.

PREDICTION
Vikings 27, Bears 17.


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