Published: Mon, December 31, 2018
Sport | By Ashley Hunter

Bears enter playoffs as NFC's hottest team after win over Vikings

Bears enter playoffs as NFC's hottest team after win over Vikings

The Vikings will be in the playoffs if they beat the Bears, or if Philadelphia loses at Washington, but Minnesota will miss the postseason with a loss to Chicago and an Eagles victory. In 2005, with the Bears resting most of their starters with the division already clinched, a victory by the Vikings wasn't enough to keep coach Mike Tice from being fired after the game.

The Bears said they're not seeking payback for Vikings safety Harrison Smith, whose hit on a sliding Trubisky late in the game in Chicago on November 18 drove the second-year quarterback's throwing shoulder into the ground and wound up sidelining him for the following two games. Then they beat the Rams, the Texans, and the Redskins anyway.

The NFL arranged the schedule to minimize the anticlimactic outcomes, moving the Bears-Vikings game to the late-afternoon slot so it would be played simultaneously with Eagles-Redskins, Cardinals-Seahawks and 49ers-Rams. He finished 28-of-33 passing for 221 yards and two touchdowns.

We don't know when the games will be in 2019, but we do know who and where they will play their opponents. A season that started with Super Bowl expectations for Minnesota ended up with the Vikings finishing 8-7-1.

The Eagles' pass rush came ready to play in this contest, flushing Washington quarterback Josh Johnson from the pocket on the first play, which resulted in an interception on the back end by Rasul Douglas.

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"Heading into the playoffs, it's good to play a good defense on the road".

"I really felt coming into this stadium that we were going to win this game", defensive end Brandon Graham said.

Of course, on paper, the Vikings would have been the easiest team for the Bears to play in the first round. Gabriel had four catches for 61 yards in the first half. "So, you do all you can, give everything you have". He didn't add to that total in the second half because he, too, left the game.

"This is a playoff game", nose tackle Linval Joseph said. Listen to the game on 780 AM, 105.9 FM, followed by the officials Bears postgame show. He took the two steps after the ball was out, as the rules say he can't, but he held up and barely tapped Mitchell Trubisky. Center Pat Elflein is among the league leaders in pressures allowed at his position and after a solid last three weeks, he chose a poor time to turn in one of his worst games of the season.

Vikings running back Dalvin Cook has recorded 100 yards from scrimmage in consecutive games for the first time in his two-year career.

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