Vikings vs. Bears: Week 17 preview

Today's game between the Vikings and Bears at Mall of America Field features two teams going in the same direction -- home. Unfortunately, fans won't be able to boo Jay Cutler. He's out with a broken thumb. Instead, fans will get a fresh look at Josh McCown -- he knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs back in 2003.
Author:
Updated:
Original:

Today's game between the Vikings and Bears at Mall of America Field features two teams going in the same direction -- home. Neither team will make the playoffs, instead, the main storylines will be about making progress for next season.

Let's start with the quarterbacks. Christian Ponder is expected to start for the Vikings, despite being knocked out of last Saturday's win over the Redskins with a concussion. The Bears will send out backup Josh McCown for a second straight week.

Remember Josh McCown? If not, check out this nightmare-causing video to the tune of the radio play-by-play of Paul Allen, "No! No! The Cardinals have knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs!"

We know. That was painful. That's why we're going to make it worse for you. Check out the Tecmo Super Bowl version of the play.

Speaking of video games, ESPN uses MADDEN to simulate each NFL game. Unfortunately, the Vikings vs. Bears simulation has Christian Ponder throwing an interception in the red zone to help the Bears win 13-10.

That MADDEN simulation also suggests Josh McCown will leave the game with an injury. The actual injury report for the game doesn't feature McCown, but it does include Bears' starters Marion Barber, Brian Urlacher, Julius Peppers and Devin Hester. Anthony Herrera (lower back) was the only Viking to miss practice on Wednesday.

Christian Ponder was a full-participant during Wednesday's practice, and although he will make the start, he'll likely be involved in quarterback controversy conversation until the start of next season. Jeremy Fowler of the Pioneer Press put together a "Tale of the Tape" comparing Ponder with Joe Webb.

Webb tells Bob Sansevere of the Pioneer Press that he's not focused on a quarterback controversy. Webb however does admit that he's "always competing" for the starting job.

Jim Kleinsasser won't be back with the Purple next season. The tight end is expected to retire, ending his 13-year run with the Vikings. Head coach Leslie Frazier says Kleinsasser could receive a goal-line carry if one presents itself.

The Vikings could potentially be playing its last game in the Metrodome. The team's lease on the stadium expires at the end of the season. However, the game is sold out, and will be available on local television. Minnesota's sellout streak is now at a whopping 144 games.

That's a roundup of what's being said so far about Sunday's finale. As for the players themselves, here's a ton of audio from our partner Eric Nelson, who heads up GameDay Gold Sports Media:

[wpaudio url="http://assets.bringmethenews.com.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/001_A_003_Sonymp3_GDGJim-Kleinsasser_2011_12_29.mp3" text="Gameday Gold: Jim Kleinsasser on Bears" dl="0"]

[wpaudio url="http://assets.bringmethenews.com.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/001_A_002_Sonymp3_GDGLorenzo-Booker_2011_12_29.mp3" text="Gameday Gold: Lorenzo Booker on Bears" dl="0"]

[wpaudio url="http://assets.bringmethenews.com.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/001_A_004_Sonymp3_GDGJoe-Webb_2011_12_29.mp3" text="Gameday Gold: Joe Webb on Bears" dl="0"]

[wpaudio url="http://assets.bringmethenews.com.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/001_A_005_Sonymp3_GDGPhil-Loadholt_2011_12_29.mp3" text="Gameday Gold: Phil Loadholt on Bears" dl="0"]

[wpaudio url="http://assets.bringmethenews.com.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/001_A_001_Sonymp3_GDGKyle-Rudolph_2011_12_29.mp3" text="Gameday Gold: Kyle Rudolph on Bears" dl="0"]

Next Up

snow

Here's how much snow fell in Minnesota on Sunday

Some localized areas saw more than expected.

Lindsay Guentzel

For The Week: What's harder than making a meal plan? Sticking to it!

Lindsay Guentzel says you shouldn't give up on your meal planning routines.

Screen Shot 2019-12-17 at 11.15.34 AM

Two people fatally shot by police in Wadena County, two officers injured

Another man was shot in the altercation, which police claim started when one of the suspects opened fire on officers.

snow, plow

Winter storm warnings issued as snow system shifts in Minnesota

The worst of the snow will now hit further north, affecting areas including St. Cloud and the I-94 corridor.

Matt Dumba

Matt Dumba beats the clock to give Wild sixth straight win

Dumba scored as overtime came to a close for another Wild victory.

Karl-Anthony Towns

Bradley Beal terrorizes Timberwolves in loss to Wizards

Beal and the Wizards handed the Wolves their seventh straight defeat.

Marcus Carr / Gopher basketball

Gophers tourney hopes take another blow with loss to Nebraska

Marcus Carr scored a career-high 41 points, but Minnesota is still winless on the road.

St. Paul police

St. Paul police arrest teenage boy in carjacking crackdown

This comes amid a dramatic spike in Twin Cities carjackings.

snow

Snow latest: Twin Cities set for up to 4 inches

A narrow system will travel across Minnesota overnight.

Related

Vikings vs. Saints: Week 15 preview

The Minnesota Vikings tackle the New Orleans Saints today at Mall of America Field. Right now, the Saints are fighting for a No. 2 seed in the NFL playoffs while the Vikings are fighting to avoid having the worst record in franchise history.

Vikings vs. Redskins: Week 16 preview

We're starting to wonder what Leslie Frazier's Christmas list looks like. We're pretty sure he's begging Santa for a couple of new offensive linemen, an entirely new secondary, a high-profile wide receiver and a couple of wins. Santa may not be able to provide a win, but he might be able to give Adrian Peterson the gift of a 200-yard rushing game.

Vikings vs. Bears: How they scored, etc...

The 2011 Minnesota Vikings campaign comes to an end at Mall of America Field as they take on the Chicago Bears in the season finale. Check back here for the latest on the game, and much more...

Vikings vs. Raiders: Week 11 preview

Coming off a horrific Monday night loss in Green Bay, the Vikings (2-7) try to bounce back at Mall of America Field today against the AFC West leading Oakland Raiders (5-4).

Vikings vs. Falcons: Week 12 preview

Minnesota (2-8) travels to Atlanta for a week 12 clash with the Atlanta Falcons (6-4), who are embroiled in a playoff race with New Orleans in the NFC South.

Vikings vs. Lions: Week 14 preview

A cold day is upon us. The Lions are much better than the Vikings. How did that happen? At any rate, the team that used to be terrible is now on the lookout against a team that is not only terrible -- but wants to avoid a franchise-worse season record.