Seattle Seahawks (3-7) at St. Louis Rams (1-9)
Carolina Panthers (4-6) at New York Jets (4-6)
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (1-9) at Atlanta Falcons (5-5)
Miami Dolphins (5-5) at Buffalo Bills (3-7)
Washington Redskins (3-7) at Philadelphia Eagles (6-4)
Cleveland Browns (1-9) at Cincinnati Bengals (7-3)
Indianapolis Colts (10-0) at Houston Texans (5-5)
Jacksonville Jaguars (6-4) at San Francisco 49ers (4-6)
Kansas City Chiefs (3-7) at San Diego Chargers (7-3)
Chicago Bears (4-6) at Minnesota Vikings (9-1)
Arizona Cardinals (7-3) at Tennessee Titans (4-6)
Pittsburgh Steelers (6-4) at Baltimore Ravens (5-5)
New England Patriots (7-3) at New Orleans Saints (10-0)
Chicago Bears (4-6) at Minnesota Vikings (9-1)
KICKOFF: Sunday, 4:15 ET
TV: FOX (Joe Buck, Troy Aikman, Pam Oliver)
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 WRs Bernard 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.
"Minnesota is enough to keep you occupied," Smith said. "You have to stay focused on the task at hand. Any team that is 4-6 right now, they're (getting asked) questions about what's going on on the football field. But things like that really don't affect what's going on. Our day is the same. We're trying to get better each day. We have a big game coming up this week. The focus is just on that."
Turner has taken a lot of the flak for an offense that has turned the ball over too much and failed to take advantage of red-zone opportunities. He has a readily accessible diversion.
"I just look at Minnesota film," Turner said. "I put that film on. I'm not going to think about anything else but Minnesota, and that's where all of my energy and all of my focus has to go. (It's about) how can we get our team better? (We have to) get our guys to perform at a high level consistently and do what they're supposed to do consistently."
Asked if he was concerned about job security, Turner said: "I'm concerned about Minnesota. I'm concerned about playing well and doing what we have to do to win this game. We still have a lot of games left. We win this game, hopefully that can get some momentum going. Really, honestly, that's all I'm concerned about right now."
"I think the day I lose hope is the day I need to retire," he said. "I'm always hopeful. I think this team is always hopeful. That's how you're supposed to be. It's kind of like coach Smith gets criticized for being so positive all the time. I think it's great that he's positive. I think that's why he's a good head coach."
The last time anyone opened a career with a bigger bang was the Colts' Alan Ameche, who went 79 yards with his first carry 54 years ago.
On the very next snap after failing to come down with a high throw from Jay Cutler on his first NFL play, Bell produced the Bears' longest run since a 73-yarder by Neal Anderson in 1989. The UCLA product says he's been carrying a chip on his shoulder for years, but that it actually helps him.
"Everyone has always told me pretty much my whole life that I wasn't running back material," the 5-foot-11, 212-pounder said. "I wasn't fast enough, I wasn't strong enough, I wasn't quick enough. Naturally, when someone tells you that you can't do something, you want to prove them wrong. Someone tells me I can't do something, I look at them and say, 'OK, well watch.' "
Bell ran only a 4.68 40-yard dash at the NFL Scouting Combine, slow for a running back, but he says that's not the true measure of a football player.
"I think a lot of that stuff is overhyped and overblown," he said. "You see guys who run 4.3s or 4.4s get out there, and they can't even make a cut. Or you see guys like (former Bronco) Terrell Davis, who is a 4.7 guy at the combine, and his career speaks for itself.
"At the end of the day, if you can put on the pads and you can be a football player, you're a football player."
"You can't do anything," he said. "The officials have never lost a game. We had all types of opportunities to win the game, to make plays. There are a lot of calls that could go either way. (But they) had nothing to do with the outcome of the game. That play, I saw it differently, but I see a lot of plays differently."