First, the requisite accountability. This is how I saw this game and the Bears record as of the second Minnesota game:
At Minnesota Vikings (3-13) Sun., Dec. 9, noon
Analysis: The Vikings didnt get that much better in two weeks.
Result: W (10-3)
Obviously the record is now a touch off, owing to the combined 192 total yards allowed on those last two drives in the Seattle game (the Seahawks TD drives were 97 and 80 yards, but they also overcame 10- and five-yard penalties to sustain those drives, hence the added length).
The fact is that the Vikings havent gotten that much better in two weeks. Minnesota lost to Green Bay despite Adrian Peterson rushing for 210 yards.
A concern, though, is that the Bears have not held a team to fewer than 100 yards rushing since they bracketed the run-challenged (more than just run, actually) Detroit Lions six games ago.
But while immense attention is understandably focused on the Bears defensive issues without Brian Urlacher and Tim Jennings, the Vikings quietly have not held a team to fewer than 20 points in their last five games, four of them losses. Granted only one of those (Tampa Bay) was in the Vikings home venue, where quarterback Christian Ponder is 5-1 this season.
The Vikings have taken immense steps under coach Leslie Frazier this season and they settled their left-tackle question (Matt Kalil, No. 4 overall) in the draft, something the Bears will look to do in their next time on the clock.
But the Bears slowed the Minnesota pass rush with simple, solid game-planning in the 29-10 win on Nov. 25. The dome is a huge Vikings aid unless the Bears stay in second- and third-and-manageable with the run game. Best guess: They will. And Lovie Smith takes the three points every time this week.
Bears 23 Vikings 20
Check back with me during the game via BearsPulse at CSNChicago.com where I'll do in-game reporting via Twitter (@CSNMoonmullin). E-talk to you then.