Week 17 Ups and Downs: Minnesota Vikings vs Chicago Bears


The last time the Minnesota Vikings were at US Bank Stadium, they ran over the Cincinnati Bengals so easily that quarterback Case Keenum only had to throw the ball over 10 yards on five of his 23 passes.

Running back Latavius Murray guided the Vikings with 111 rushing yards on 20 carries, hitting the end zone twice. Since the start of the 2016 season, Murray has 20 rushing touchdowns, which ranks second in the National Football League behind Dallas' Ezekiel Elliott (22).

The Vikings finished 12-2 four times with a 14-game schedule (1969, 1970, 1973 and 1975), but the only other time they've topped 12 victories was their 15-1 record in 1998. Having said that, rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky has shown flashes.

Stefon Diggs caught six passes for 65 yards and a touchdown for the Vikings (13-3), who reached 13 wins for only the second time in the history of the 57-year-old franchise after holding a second straight opponent without an offensive touchdown.

The Bears cut into the lead on Mike Nugent's 55-yard field goal midway through the fourth, but couldn't muster more. To give the Chicago fans a good feeling going into the offseason, they'd love to see the youngster play well and pull off an upset win on Sunday.

More news: Unprecedented security expected in Times Square for New Year's Eve

Minnesota's last bye in the first round came in the 2010 playoffs.

NOTES: The Vikings encouraged fans to arrive a minimum of 45 minutes before kickoff to ensure they could get through security. Chicago was without regular offensive linemen Bobby Massie and Josh Sitton.

The Chicago Bears are expected to part ways with coach John Fox after this season, multiple outlets reported on Sunday. His first season in Chicago was his best, with a 6-10 record.

Callahan later made amends by returning a punt 59 yards for a touchdown off a trick play, closing the gap to 14-7 with 5:50 left in the half. Bryce Callahan's punt-return touchdown for Chicago was the first of his career.