Coming off a tie and more off-the-field trouble, its been a confusing and largely negative week for the Purple. They try to bounce back this week against Chicago, who will be led by a man that did this in his first start against the Vikings.
WHAT’S AT STAKE: The Bears could be in serious trouble with a loss this week to the Purple. Having already lost the season series to the team they share the division lead with, Detroit, a loss dropping Chicago to .500 would hurt their hopes of a playoff berth. Chicago's final two home games are against Dallas and Green Bay, not easy wins, while they travel to Cleveland and suddenly-hot Philadelphia in their other 2013 contests. For the Vikings, a draft pick is what they're playing for, and some think the worst thing Minnesota can do is win.
THE LAST TIME THEY MET: It was Jay Cutler-to-Martellus Bennett with 10 seconds left to beat Minnesota in Week 2. The mythical "Black Unicorn" arose out of the ashes of the Bears win.
PLAYER IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Adrian Peterson. The Chicago Bears rush defense is the worst in the league, and if Minnesota is to win Sunday it will likely be on the very broad and capable shoulders of AP.For the Bears, Josh McCown could be considered a player to watch, but he's been so solid since taking over for Cutler that Chicago isn't really worried about their fill-in QB.More so, watch running back Matt Forte for Chicago, who missed practice Wednesday with a hyper-extended knee. He is expected to play, and is one of the best multi-purpose backs in the league when healthy.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: "The fact that we have had three recent off-field situations is unacceptable and disappointing."-Vikings general manager Rick Spielman on Minnesota's off-field issues.
INJURY REPORT: For the Bears, the aforementioned Cutler is out while Forte is questionable. Chicago's battered defense will be missing linebacker Lance Briggs and defensive back Charles Tillman, two of the best at their respective positions in the league.
The Purple are still a few weeks away from getting Kyle Rudolph and Harrison Smith back to game action, while Joe Webb and Xavier Rhodes passed concussion protocol today. Those four, along with Josh Robinson and Peterson did not participate in practice Wednesday.
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: The Chicago Tribune thinks AP has a chance to break the rushing record against the Bears Sunday.
Meanwhile, here's Howie Long talking about watching his two sons play each other last week, one of which is Chicago offensive tackle Kyle Long.
THE LATEST LINE:Bovada has the Vikings as a one-point favorite.
PREDICTION: Josh McCown has been good while filling in for Jay Cutler at quarterback, but Chicago's run defense is the worst in the league. Christian Ponder's play was improved last week, and Adrian Peterson is primed for a big game. SKOL to the tune of a 31-21 win.