Week 17 Ups and Downs: Minnesota Vikings vs Chicago Bears

Arnold Nichols
January 1, 2018

For a second straight game, the offense looked conservative with a lack of explosive plays and deep passing game.

The run game churned out 147 yards behind Latavius Murray's two-touchdown day.

The Vikings, who took a shutout into the fourth quarter two weeks ago against the Bengals and blanked the Packers at Lambeau Field on December 23, might have taken another zero into the fourth quarter if not for the Bears' second TD off punt-team trickery against the Vikings this season. New England offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels and Vikings offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur will merit consideration - both are former National Football League head coaches as well - while Pace has strong ties to the New Orleans organization, and with that team thriving this season under Sean Payton, some members of that staff could be involved in the process as well.

Howard has four carries for -3 yards in the first half. He had one reception for 1 yard in the game. Joe Berger will move over to center from right guard and Jeremiah Sirles will replace Easton, who is out of the season. On Sunday, Chicago converted just once on 12 tries on third down. And Chicago Bears head coach John Fox is expected to be one of them.

The Vikings weren't exactly spectacular, but a win is a win.

In that last outing at Soldier Field, Jordan Howard gave Minnesota's defense problems - one of the few running backs to pull that off this season.

The Bears rank in the top 10 against the pass and all three of their cornerbacks rate in the top 30 by Pro Football Focus and Adrian Amos is the No. 2 rated safety in the NFL (behind Harrison Smith).

The Bears didn't fold early despite being eliminated from the playoffs weeks ago. Vikings FB C.J. Ham left the game in the first half with a neck injury and did not return.

For now, they celebrate how they closed out the season.

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