KICKOFF: Sunday, 12:00 CT
TV: FOX, Sam Rosen, Bill Maas, Jay Glazer
89th meeting. Minnesota the leads series, 47-39-2, including playoffs, but hasn't won in Chicago since 2000. The Vikings, who have played the Bears more than any other opponent, are 20-21-2 against Chicago on the road.
Vikings: offense 24th (26th rush, 13th pass); defense 30th (32nd rush, 14th pass). Bears: offense 27th (9th rush, 30th pass); defense 3rd (4th rush, 7th pass)
KEYS TO THE GAME
This could be the week Bears rookie RB Cedric Benson gets the bulk of the carries with starter Thomas Jones battling a knee injury. Either way, the Vikings' know Chicago will run the ball ... and then run it some more. Minnesota ranks last in the league allowing 178.0 rushing yards per game and 5.4 yards per carry. But the Bears have struggled to win games because they take few shots downfield, so expect Chicago to open up the passing game a bit. The Vikings have been outscored 67-18 in two road games this season, but hope the bye week allowed QB Daunte Culpepper's sore knee to heal. Minnesota has failed to rush for 100 yards in each of its three losses, and the Vikings must be able to establish its ground game for Culpepper to have a realistic shot of attacking the Bears' seventh-ranked pass defense.
Vikings: Lead series 47-39-2, but haven't won in Chicago since 2000. ... Are 13-3 (.813) following a bye week since 1990. Bears: Are 1-3 for the third consecutive year. They went 1-5 the past two years before getting their second victory. ... Offense has just seven red-zone possessions, but has produced five touchdowns