Yep, This One Still Counts: BEARS at VIKINGS - December 29, 2019

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Yep, This One Still Counts: BEARS at VIKINGS – December 29, 2019

Chicago Bears

The Bears are down a bunch of key starters, but are playing to win.

Meanwhile, the Vikings are expected to play it safe with their regulars riding the bench in the regular-season finale.

This one counts in the standings. And since the Bears don’t have a first-round pick in the upcoming NFL Draft, the least they could do is make the one going to the Raiders in 2020 a little less valuable by beating the Vikings on Sunday.

Never Tell Me The Odds:

The Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas lists the Bears as a 3-point road underdogs favorites (a surprise to be sure, but a welcome one!) against the Vikings. The total is set at 36 points. As has been the case with many Bears games this season, this total is the lowest on the board in Week 17.

Series History:

The Bears trail the all-time series 54-60-2, but have won the last three with Matt Nagy at the helm.

Game Time, Broadcast Info, Officiating Crew:

Location: US Bank Stadium, Minneapolis

Broadcast Info: Sunday, December 29 at noon CT on FOX-TV (Dick Stockton, Mark Schlereth, Jennifer Hale), WBBM-AM 780 and WCFS-FM 105.9 (Jeff Joniak, Tom Thayer, Mark Grote)

Referee: John Hussey

Expected Starters and Lineups:

Bears Offense Expected Starters:

  • QB Mitch Trubisky
  • RB David Montgomery
  • WR Allen Robinson II
  • WR Anthony Miller
  • WR Javon Wims
  • TE Jesper Horsted
  • LT Charles Leno Jr.
  • LG James Daniels
  • C Cody Whitehair
  • RG Ted Larsen
  • RT Cornelius Lucas

Bears Defense Expected Starters:

  • DT Roy Robertson-Harris
  • NT Nick Williams
  • DE Bilal Nichols
  • OLB Khalil Mack
  • ILB Nick Kwiatkoski
  • OLB Leonard Floyd
  • CB Kevin Toliver II
  • CB Kyle Fuller
  • CB Buster Skrine
  • S Eddie Jackson
  • S Ha Ha Clinton-Dix

Bears Specialists: 

  • Eddy Piñeiro (kicker), Pat O’Donnell (punter, holder), Patrick Scales (long snapper), Cordarrelle Patterson (kick returner), Tarik Cohen (punt returner)

Vikings Offense Expected Starters:

  • QB Sean Mannion
  • RB Alexander Mattison
  • WR Laquon Treadwell
  • WR Alexander Hollins
  • WR Bisi Johnson
  • TE Irv Smith Jr.
  • LT Rashod Hill
  • LG Dakota Dozier
  • C Pat Elflein
  • RG Dru Samia
  • RT Oli Udoh

Vikings Defense Expected Starters:

  • LDE Stephen Weatherly
  • LDT Jaleel Johnson
  • RDT Jalyn Holmes
  • RDE Ifeadi Odenigbo
  • WLB Eric Wilson
  • MLB Kentrell Brothers
  • SLB Cameron Smith
  • LCB Mike Hughes
  • RCB Mackensie Alexander
  • FS Andrew Sendejo
  • SS Jayron Kearse

Vikings Specialists:

  • Dan Bailey (kicker), Britton Colquitt (punter, holder), Austin Cutting  (long snapper), Ameer Abdullah (kick returns), Mike Hughes (punt returns

Keep An Eye On …

David Montgomery needs 39 yards to reach 1,000 scrimmage yards this season. Montgomery’s rookie season was a respectable one, but it wasn’t quite what anyone expected after the Bears traded up in the draft to take him, then sat him for the majority of the preseason after showing out in his debut. At least Montgomery showed some flashes and proved that he was hard to take down/could handle a decent work load as a first-year player. With that being said, he will need to take a leap to be a difference-maker in 2020.

Allen Robinson can reach the 100-catch milestone if he can snag 11 receptions on Sunday. The Vikings pass defense is generally well regarded, but that is when Harrison Smith is roaming in the secondary. So while I think it would be neat for Robinson to finish the year with 100 receptions, I would prefer to see him enter 2020 with a clean bill of health.

Mitch Trubisky has nothing to prove in the season-finale. Unlike last year when he was a money player for the Bears in their 2018 Week 17 win in a game the Vikings desperately needed to win, Trubisky figures to go up against a B-squad of defenders. There is nothing Trubisky can do in this game to change anyone’s thinking heading into 2020. Based on the steps back Trubisky has taken this year and the inconsistent play that has been a constant throughout his three years as a starter, the quarterback position needs to be an open competition in 2020.

Author: Luis Medina

Luis Medina is a Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at@lcm1986.