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Week 15: Chicago Bears at Minnesota Vikings Game Preview

The Silver Fox is hoping for at least one more outing.

As reported by any sports-reporting outlet worth it's salt, Brett Favre has been upgraded from "out" to  "questionable", and could face the Bears tonight at TCF Bank Stadium.

Favre will throw in TCF Bank Stadium two hours before game time and a decision made on his availability. The team said in a statement that Favre could not throw two days ago because of pain and declared himself out, but that he woke up Monday and felt better over the last 24 hours.

After a week where the focus has been on stadium preparedness, and possible injury, why not add another storyline into the mix? It's a situation that is incredibly interesting--very rarely does a player go from being "out" to "possibly able to go" just hours before game time.

Will Favre really be able to go? Will the Bears be ready for it? Will everyone slide into each other?

This image was posted by Zach Zaidman. It's what TCF looked like at 3pm:

Isn't that nasty?

Both teams are going to want to establish their ground games, for varying reasons. The Vikings offense should be directed and funneled through Adrian Peterson, until they can prove something to me otherwise. The Bears, similarly, want to get through this game, while possibly having to worry about limiting injuries. Leaving small speed receivers open to big hits in the open field is not the ideal formula for that.

But is it safe?
That's the million dollar question, isn't it? As you've no doubt heard by now, Vikings P Chris Kluwe twittered up a storm yesterday, labeling the field unplayable. He was apparently asked to stop talking about it, so that he did. 

How can it not be assumed that it'll be bad, though? Snow has been falling and will continue to fall in Minneapolis throughout the game. Yes, the Fieldturf has some padding, but what will the surface be like as snow melts and refreezes on the field? What shoes will players be wearing? Will they be able to keep footing as conditions change?

Neither side has filed formal complaints, though, so it's business as usual. It should definitely be interesting tonight.

So what'll happen?

As before, both teams will want to run the ball, and often. Failing that, look for a lot of safe checkdowns and high percentage plays. Neither team is likely to take too many shots downfield, especially if they're not sure their receivers can get there.

What will be the key?

 Special teams play is really going to be the defining factor of this game. Field position is crucial in games where it's difficult to move the ball, unless you happen to be the New England Patriots. If Hester can find solid footing, we may see history made in Minnesota.

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Chicago Bears need to focus on beating Minnesota Vikings, not weather or field conditions 

Bears-Vikings preview: The cold facts

Bears-Vikings game proves safety is secondary

Bears-Vikings: The Nuts and Bolts

Forget the field or QBs--Peterson is the Main Focus