Sunday Snapshot: Bears vs. Vikings

The Scout.com NFL experts chip in with everything you need to know just ahead of Sunday's matchup between the Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings at the Metrodome in Week 12.

SUNDAY SNAPSHOT
Kickoff: 4:15 p.m. Central
Surface: FieldTurf
Television: FOX – Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver
Series: 97th regular-season meeting. The Vikings lead 51-43-2, although the Bears won the only postseason matchup between these two division rivals, a 35-18 victory in the first round of the 1994 playoffs. The teams split their two games last year, with the Bears winning a 48-41 shootout at Soldier Field in Week 7. Chicago got two TDs on special teams, one from Garrett Wolfe returning a blocked punt and another from Zack Bowman recovering a muffed punt. But in Week 13, the Vikings blew out the Bears 34-14 at the Metrodome. Bernard Berrian, a former Bear, set a Minnesota record by reeling in a 99-yard touchdown pass from Gus Frerotte.

KEYS TO THE GAME
Can the Bears run the ball with any effectiveness? RB Kahlil Bell provided a spark behind Matt Forte last weekend, and Chicago needs to churn out some yards against Minnesota's third-ranked run defense. If not, QB Jay Cutler's sagging confidence won't get a boost in the face of a Vikings pass rush that enters with a league-high 36 sacks. Offensively, Minnesota presents a Catch-22. Overload to stop RB Adrian Peterson, and QB Brett Favre has his choice of weapons in Berrian, Sidney Rice and Percy Harvin. But a seven-man front is playing with fire against Peterson, who has rushed for 554 yards and eight touchdowns in four career games against Chicago.

FAST FACTS
The Bears have lost five of their past six games. ... Favre has a 112.1 passer rating and a 21-3 touchdown-to-interception ratio.


G Roberto Garza
Getty Images: Jonathan Daniel

PERSONNEL NEWS
Bears:
G Roberto Garza (ankle) returned to practice and is expected to start Sunday. ... TE Desmond Clark (neck) did not practice and may miss his second straight game. He has just four catches for 14 yards in the last three games in which he has played. ... Forte has 18 receptions for 214 yards in his last three games but just 108 rushing yards on 39 carries, and he has not scored in any of those games. ... TE Greg Olsen is third among NFL tight ends with six touchdown catches but has scored in just one of the past five games, although that was his three-TD day vs. the Cardinals. ... Bell is expected to get a handful of carries behind Forte after debuting last week with a 72-yard run on his first touch in the NFL.

Vikings: G Anthony Herrera did not practice for a second consecutive day because of a concussion, and his status for Sunday is not certain. ... Berrian was limited for the second day in a row because of a hamstring injury that has bothered him for several weeks but hasn't kept him out of any games. ... Peterson was limited for a second consecutive day because of an ankle injury suffered Sunday. ... CB Antoine Winfield was limited for a second consecutive day because of a foot injury, but he said he will return on Sunday after missing four games. ... FB Naufahu Tahi was limited Wednesday and held out Thursday because of an ankle injury. ... LB E.J. Henderson was on the injury report because of an issue with his knee, but he did not miss any practice time. ... CB Benny Sapp was on the injury report because of a groin issue, but he did not miss any practice time.

PREDICTION
Vikings 24, Bears 17.


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