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NFL Week 15: Chicago Bears vs Minnesota Vikings Pre-Party Open Thread

The Bears still have something to say about this year's playoff picture. Maybe. Possibly. We hope. Welcome to Week 15.

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

Good morning. The Bears have a chance to stay alive in the playoffs today.

Remember how defeating the Packers put this team in the thick of the playoff hunt? Thanksgiving night feels like so long ago. Losses to the Niners and Redskins put the team back in their box of "not very good," and here they are, standing on the edge of elimination. A loss, and it's all over for the year - mathematically, anyway, since one could argue it's been over since about week 2.

Meanwhile, since it's become a two-team race for the NFC North title, the Vikings need a win over the Bears to keep their entrenched spot in the playoff hunt, and to keep things interesting with the North-leading Packers. Adrian Peterson's last game at home - miserable. But the last time the Vikings played the Bears, the Vikings picked up 147 on the ground, and the Bears have allowed over 100 rushing yards in 9 of their 13 games this season. They continue to maintain that 30th-ranked yards-per-carry against, and couple that with what Jordan Reed did to the Bears last week... This just in, Kyle Rudolph can do some things.

As for the Navy and Orange, the return to Earth has been marked with scorching hot takes and a loud reverberating thud, losing two games that they really should have had no business losing. Yet, here we are. Robbie Gould has developed his own case of lead foot - and not in a good way. The offensive playcalling - predictable and stagnant. The defense, prone to vacillation between shutting down a drive and collapsing out of nowhere. So, the same team, just this time with the bounces going the other way.

But, through it all, the Bears still have something left to say about the playoff picture, and it starts today against the Vikings. Let's go.


GAME 13 RECAP: Quick Recap (Dane) | Notes (SJS) | Snap Counts (Les) | Five Takeaways (Sam) | Sackwatch!(Les) | Offensive Line Grading (Les) | John Fox Approval Rating

GAME 14 PREVIEWS: Game Info (Dane) | Three Key Bears (Sam) | Injury Report (Les)


BEARS ON RESERVE/ROSTER JENGA: Antrel Rolle to IR | John Timu Elevated


PLAYOFFS/NFL: Ten Thoughts | Playoffs | Power Rankings

FANTASY: Week 14 Review | Week 15 Preview

DRAFTWATCH: Edge prospect Leonard Floyd

Josh asks what the Bears can learn from All-Pro defenders.

Jack says not to give up on Robbie Gould, even after the last two weeks.

Today, we get the typical noon procedures - Bears football begins at noon central, with a new quarter thread popping up as the game goes on. After the game, we'll have the late slates covered for you with gamethreads, with a recap of the game as well as Notes in the morning.

With all the propers out of the way... Bear Down, my friends.


No Sam this week, as some work issues came up with his availability, so today, I'm flying solo with music and Bears thoughts. After the last two weeks, I think we have a lot to talk about, so we'll be heavy with a lot of viewer and caster back and forth as we sort out this year's Bears team.

A reminder that this is the last Sunday morning livestream of the season; our next stream will be our season-in-review stream, the evening of Monday, January 4. Mark your calendars.

If you want to get your thoughts out, here's how:

  • Here. Yes, here. No, really, here. Right here. This comment thread.
  • Over on the Twitch page over here, and...
  • Over on the Twitter. I'm over at @SJS_illini; if Sam were here, he'd be at @SamHouseholder.

We'll go live about or in the near general vicinity of 9:30 AM CT (slight morning delays and all) with the music and thoughts. See y'all then.