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Vikings-Bears prediction

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Posted Jan. 01, 2012 @ 11:35 a.m. ET
By Eric Edholm

Here is senior editor Eric Edholm's prediction for Bears-Vikings on Sunday in Minnesota:

Lovie Smith will go into this game wanting to finish the season strong. So will Kahlil Bell and Josh McCown, whose performances could dictate whether they return next season and play significant backup roles for the team. The Vikings got back in the win column last week with a stirring victory in Washington, but expecting two wins in a row is a little much.

Christian Ponder has passed concussion tests and will start Sunday, but how effective will he be? The Bears should have a good defensive game plan for him, and they will look to force Minnesota to turn the ball over. The Vikings will have to throw the ball without Adrian Peterson in the lineup, and that means the Bears can center their attention on Percy Harvin.

With so few reliable options, the Vikings will fall a bit short. It's not as if the Bears are loaded with offensive threats now, but maybe Devin Hester will find a way to crack out of his slump. He has a history of burning the Vikings.

Prediction: Bears 20, Vikings 14

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