With the Vikings already locked into the NFC’s sixth seed, not only will they most likely be resting everybody with even the slightest of nicks or bruises to prepare them for wild-card weekend, they could even decide to rest key contributors like Kirk Cousins, Danielle Hunter, Anthony Barr and Harrison Smith just to make sure they’re as ready as possible for next weekend.
We also have to assume – perhaps even hope – the Bears will take advantage of their last opportunity in a real game to look at players such as Alex Bars, Ryan Nall, Eric Saubert, Riley Ridley, Javon Wims, Brent Urban, Abdullah Anderson, Joel Iyiegbuniwe, Kevin Toliver and Michael Joseph before key personnel decisions have to be made in the offseason.
The Vikings have actually been a good matchup in recent years for the Bears, who have won the past three and four of their previous seven meetings, including a punishing 16-6 victory in Week 4, when they sacked Kirk Cousins six times, limited Minnesota to 222 yards of total offense and recovered Cousins and Stefon Diggs fumbles.
But prior to stunningly managing only seven first downs in a beatdown from the Packers reminiscent of Week 4, the Vikings had won eight of 10 after losing only to Kansas City and Seattle, while the Bears have dropped seven of 11 and haven’t beaten a winning team except Minnesota this year.
Basically, we have no idea what to expect from either of these teams in the season finale.
Vikings offense vs. Bears defense: Even though the Bears almost certainly won’t see Dalvin Cook or Alexander Mattison, the Vikings will still try to focus on running the ball with Mike Boone and Ameer Abdullah, because that’s what their offense does under coordinator Kevin Stefanski.
Minnesota is seventh in the NFL rushing, although only 14th in average gain a rush, while the offense ranks 20th throwing the ball but is tied for third in the NFL in average gain per pass.
The main reason for their big plays in the passing game has been Stefon Diggs. Even though Adam Thielen missed six games with a hamstring injury and returned Sunday against the Chargers, Diggs is averaging 17.9 yards a catch in a 1,130-yard season to date.
If Cousins is at quarterback, it