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The Bears Win Again Den, December 21, 2020

G’bye Purple, it was nice doing our annual “knock you guys out of the playoffs again” game at your stadium.

Chicago Bears v Minnesota Vikings
Danny Trevathan #59 of the Chicago Bears breaks up a pass during the first half against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 20, 2020 in Minneapolis,
Photo by Stephen Maturen/Getty Images

THE DAILY SPONGIE SPECIAL

Ken’s Note: This one isn’t as obvious on my “Spongie Specials” “Next-level” messaging but it’s there if you think about it.

BEARRRSSSS

Haugh: Bears forcing us to put present ahead of future - 670 The Score - In an elimination game that amounted to a de facto NFC playoff opener Sunday, the Bears survived and advanced. Period. That was the day’s only mission, and they completed it.

Montgomery stepping up big as Bears commit to running game - 670 The Score - Bears running back David Montgomery rushed for a career-high 146 yards and two touchdowns in Chicago’s 33-27 win against Minnesota on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Bears’ playoff hopes growing more legitimate - 670 The Score - Just two weeks ago, the Bears seemed closer to cleaning house at Halas Hall than making the playoffs. But Chicago’s postseason hopes are becoming more real each week after a 33-27 win in Minnesota on Sunday.

Bernstein: Less is more for Matt Nagy, Bears - 670 The Score - It would be no small amount of irony if Bears coach Matt Nagy has become more likely to keep his job because he made the decision to fire himself.

Bears hold off Vikings for a 33-27 win to improve to 7-7 - 670 The Score - David Montgomery rushed for a career-high 146 yards and two touchdowns as the Chicago Bears trampled Minnesota’s depleted defense and hung on for a 33-27 victory on Sunday to stay in the hunt for the expanded playoffs.

Column: Chicago Bears starting on offense shows confidence - Chicago Tribune - Matt Nagy decided to flip the script and chose to start on offense after the Chicago Bears won the coin toss. It didn’t work at first — but then they pounded the Minnesota Vikings in a must-win game.

Bears 33, Vikings 27: David Montgomery's career day keeps playoff hopes alive - RSN - Matt Nagy's dominance of the Vikings continues.

NFL Playoffs: If Bears defense plays better, 'can beat a lot of teams' - RSN - This isn't something we expected to hear this year.

How Bears' David Montgomery's 'special' running is saving the season - RSN - The Montgom-era has begun.

Bears vs. Vikings takeaways: Playoff spot an increasingly real possibility - RSN - The Bears' 33-27 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday created a very real path to the playoffs for Matt Nagy's team.

Chicago Bears - Minnesota Vikings Postgame Show: David Montgomery Sets Multiple Career-Highs as Bears Win Second-Straight, Keeping Playoff Hopes Alive - Chicago Audible Podcast - Listen as the guys break down the Chicago Bears 33-27 victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

Bears have the playoffs in their sights with two weeks to go – The Athletic - Are the playoffs now in the cards for the Bears?

Bears stay in playoff race with David Montgomery, defense – The Athletic - Bears stay in playoff race behind David Montgomery, timely defensive stops.

Is Mitch Trubisky playing himself into a new Bears contract? – The Athletic - Does it make sense for the Bears to commit to more years of Mitch Trubisky?

NFL Week 15 grades: Bears get an 'A' for keeping their playoff hopes alive; Patriots get big, fat 'F' - CBSSports.com - Here are the Week 15 grades for every team that has played so far

Week 15 photos: Chicago Bears 33, Minnesota Vikings 27 - Chicago Tribune - The Chicago Bears played the Minnesota Vikings in Week 15 at U.S. Bank Stadium on Dec. 20, 2020.

Week 15 recap: Chicago Bears 33, Minnesota Vikings 27 - Chicago Tribune - The Chicago Bears kept their playoff hopes alive with a 33-27 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

‘Montgomery burns Minnesota’: Your best 3-word reviews from the Chicago Bears’ 33-27 win over the Minnesota Vikings - Chicago Tribune - The Chicago Bears made enough big plays to keep their playoff hopes alive with a 33-27 win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday. Here are fans' best three-word reviews from the game.

Bears kicker Cairo Santos coolly crushes Vikings - Chicago Sun-Times - Sunday, Santos made all four field goals. He hit a 42-yarder in the first quarter, a 35-yarder in the second and two huge kicks in the fourth.

Bears beat Vikings, stay alive in playoff race - Chicago Sun-Times - The win brought the Bears back to .500 and kept their playoff hopes alive, while they all-but-eliminated their NFC North rivals from postseason.

Bears’ two replacements CBs hang on against Vikings - Chicago Sun-Times - "They did do a good job," Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins said. "We weren’t able to hit those explosive plays down the field as he had in other weeks."

Different Mitch Trubisky, same question: Do you believe in him? - Chicago Sun-Times - Bears beat Vikings, improving their playoff chances and renewing the Trubisky debate.

Quick hits: 3 bright spots in rough day for Bears defense vs. Vikings - Chicago Sun-Times - The defense struggled overall, but there were enough big plays to hang on for a 33-27 win.

David Montgomery gives Vikings’ defense fits - Chicago Sun-Times - The second-year back continued to spearhead the Bears’ offensive resurgence — rushing for a career-high 146 yards on a career-high 32 carries and scoring two TDs in the Bears’ 33-27 victory.

POLISH SAUSAGE

Dolphins eliminate Patriots from playoff contention - ProFootballTalk - The Patriots will not be going to the playoffs for the first time since 2008.

Jets get their first win of the season - ProFootballTalk - The Jets will not go 0-16.

2020 NFL season, Week 15: What we learned from Sunday's games - NFL.com - Ryan Tannehill and the Titans offense rolled over the Lions, the Seahawks running game got going and clinched a playoff spot and Lamar Jackson and the Ravens took care of business against the Jaguars. And much more!

KNOW THINE ENEMY

Chicago Bears 33, Minnesota Vikings 27 : Playoff hopes end with home loss - Daily Norseman - There were opportunities, but they were missed

Only one path to the playoffs is open for the Vikings - Daily Norseman - And it’s not a particularly wide one

Aaron Rodgers, Packers have ‘sour taste’ from disappointing win over Panthers - NFL.com - With Saturday evening’s 24-16 win over the visiting Carolina Panthers, the Green Bay Packers moved to 11-3, increased their lead atop the NFC and moved ever closer to clinching homefield advantage for the first time since 2011.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT ON WINDY CITY GRIDIRON

Curl: Chicago Bears devour Minnesota Vikings’ dreams in second week of resurgence toward NFC dominance - Windy City Gridiron - The Bears continue their meteoric rise from losing-streak ashes and send the Vikings’ season on an early trip to Valhalla.

Who will be the Bears starting quarterback in 2021? - Windy City Gridiron - Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NFL. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged in Bears fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts.

Salo's Windy City Gridiron Saturday Spotlight: Akiem Hicks - Windy City Gridiron - Throughout the 2020 NFL season, we’ll spotlight a Bears player in a weekly column. This week, we’ll take an in-depth look at Defensive Lineman Akiem Hicks

Infante's 2021 NFL Draft: Top 10 rankings at each position - Windy City Gridiron - With the regular season coming to a close, let’s take a look at the 10 best 2021 NFL Draft prospects at each position.

THE RULES

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