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In a situation that no doubt makes the folks at NBC wish that flex scheduling could start much earlier than it currently does, the Sunday Night Football match-up on the peacock network will feature the 1-4 Minnesota Vikings making a trip to their personal house of horrors, Soldier Field, to take on the defending NFC North champion Chicago Bears, who currently have a record of 2-3.
We all know the story behind the Vikings' season thus far. . .they have yet to lose a game by more than a touchdown, and have struggled in the second half in every game this season, even last week's 34-10 win over the Arizona Cardinals. They have been pretty bad at Soldier Field in recent history, too, having only won one game there in their last ten attempts. That win came in 2007 in the game that wound up being running back Adrian Peterson's coming-out party, as he rushed for 224 yards and three touchdowns, and had a key kickoff return late to set up a 54-yard field goal by Ryan Longwell that split the uprights and gave the Vikings a 34-31 victory.
The Bears have been very up-and-down this season. After blowing out the Atlanta Falcons to start the season, the Bears have lost three of their last four, including a 24-13 loss to the Detroit Lions on Monday Night Football this past week. Chicago quarterback Jay Cutler spent much of Monday night running for his life, as the Bears' offensive line did very little against Detroit's pass rush. Now, the Bears will have to line up against a team that currently ranks second in sacks in the National Football League, and has a pair of defensive ends playing as well as any tandem in the league in Jared Allen and Brian Robison.
Neither of these teams are terribly prolific on offense, with the top offensive player on both teams being their running backs. Peterson is currently the second-leading rusher in the National Football League with 498 yards to his name, and is tied for the NFL lead with six rushing touchdowns. For the Bears, Matt Forte is the NFL's sixth-leading rusher with 440 yards, but has only found the end zone once. Forte also leads the Bears in receptions with 30, nearly twice as many as the second-highest receiver in that category for Chicago.
Kickoff for this one is scheduled for 7:20 PM Central time on Sunday evening. No having to search for channels or anything for this one, as it is the nationally featured game on NBC. The announcers for this one will be Al Michaels and Cris Collinsworth.