Published: Mon, December 31, 2018
Sport | By Matt Richards

"Bear Down - Low Down": Week 17 vs. Vikings

Either way, the Bears aren't necessarily impacted in a great way on Sunday afternoon.

"This is a playoff game", nose tackle Linval Joseph said. "It's just a great place to play an NFL football game, and I can't say enough good things about the venue, the locker room, the facility and the way our fans spur us on". 30, at U.S. Bank Stadium, he and the Vikings (8-6-1) must beat NFC North champion Chicago (11-4) to guarantee a playoff spot.

"We understand what's at stake".

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The Philadelphia Eagles are a little over 48-hours away from finding out if they'll be playoff participants this year, and the team has a loose confidence about them, even while needing help to get into the tournament.

"It's not complicated", Cousins said.

"Anytime you throw a lot of completions in this game, you give yourself a chance to win because you stay ahead of the sticks and you don't get into third-and-long situations", Nagy said.

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This doesn't have the feeling of a regular week for Minnesota, which is facing a stunning early end the season a year after going 13-3 and making it to the NFC Championship. "This could be our last game or we can go forward".

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. Maybe he's one of the guys who needs to continue to play through the final quarter on Sunday, regardless of the Vikings score? As fans, though, we should know that we ought to trust the head coach this season. There has to be heightened sense of energy and focus and study time. They still have the possibility of being the NFC's second seed, earning a player-friendly bye week and guaranteed home-field advantage through the divisional round. Howard had a 42-yard gain to get the Bears to the Vikings' 22, and finished the possession with a six-yard touchdown run.

They didn't escape Sunday's game completely unscathed.

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They're in this spot largely because of a defense with four Pro Bowl picks led by Khalil Mack that ranks fourth overall in the NFL and leads the league in both interceptions (27) and takeaways (36). The Eagles' offensive line is playing at really high level recently, and just held their own against the Houston Texans' strong pass rush.

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