Nuts & Bolts: Bears-Vikings

December, 31, 2011
12/31/11
9:00
AM ET

BEARS at VIKINGS


When: Noon Sunday | TV: Fox | Radio: 780-AM WBBM & 105.9 FM
HarvinAP Photo/Chuck BurtonPercy Harvin is the first Vikings player to score on a run, reception and return multiple times in his career.

CHICAGO BEARS (7-8)

Coach: Lovie Smith | Record including playoffs: 73-59

Career head-to-head record (including playoffs) vs. Leslie Frazier: 2-0

Career record (including playoffs) vs. Vikings: 9-6

Last week: Lost to Packers 35-21

Key stat: In 10 drives against the Packers, quarterback Josh McCown led the team to two touchdowns, and two field goals. The team punted twice and had two drives ended with interceptions. By comparison, in the previous four games with Hanie, the Bears punted 29 times in 55 drives, scoring four TDs, and four field goals in addition to ending drives with nine INTs.

Offense rank: 20th (321.1 ypg) | Defense rank: 18th (353.7 ypg).

[+] EnlargeCharles Tillman
AP Photo/Charles Rex ArbogastCharles Tillman was rewarded for his consistent season with his first Pro Bowl berth.

Offensive leader: Quarterback Josh McCown made his first start since 2007 against the Packers and showed poise in leading the offense to its best production in terms of yards (441) of the season. McCown needs to show that the performance against Green Bay wasn’t a fluke, because last year, this team was fooled by the play of Caleb Hanie in the NFC title game.

Defensive leader: Cornerback Charles Tillman was recently named to his first Pro Bowl, and is by far the most consistent player in Chicago’s secondary, despite criticism about his age. More players in the Bears’ secondary need to model their play after Tillman, who plays a physical brand of football replete with seemingly endless effort. Tillman ranks fourth in franchise history with 29 INTs.

Streaks
" A loss would give the Bears their first six-game losing streak since 1998. The Bears haven’t lost their last six games in a row since 1989.

" The Bears are 6-1 this season when they gain 301 to 400 yards and 32-14 under those conditions since 2004.

" The Bears haven’t won a game this season (0-2) in which they gained 401 yards or more.

" The Bears are 0-2 this season in domes after finishing last year 3-0 in indoor stadiums.


MINNESOTA VIKINGS (3-12)

Coach: Leslie Frazier | Record: 6-15 | Last week: Defeated Redskins 33-26

Career head-to-head record vs. Smith: 0-2 | Career record vs. Bears: 0-2

Key stat: The Vikings have had three different players -- Adrian Peterson, Toby Gerhart and quarterback Joe Webb -- rush for more than 100 yards in a game this season, which is the first time that’s happened since 2003 and the third time in franchise history.

Offense rank: 18th (331.6 ypg) | Defense rank: 25th (368.1 ypg)

[+] EnlargeTim Tebow
Tom Dahlin/Getty ImagesThe Vikings' Jared Allen has 18.5 sacks this season, tops in the NFL.

Offensive leader: Receiver Percy Harvin is just 16 yards away from setting a new career high in receiving yards for a season. Harvin leads the team with 852 yards receiving and is tied for eighth in the NFL in receptions (77). Harvin averages 9.1 yards per touch and is the first Vikings player to score on a run, reception and return multiple times in his career.

Defensive leader: Defensive end Jared Allen is second in Minnesota single-season history with 18.5 sacks, and has also forced four career safeties. Allen is also tied for first in the league with four fumble recoveries, and eight overall as a Minnesota Viking. From 2005-2011, Allen is tied for third with 26 forced fumbles.

Streaks
" Former Bears receiver Devin Aromashodu needs 42 yards receiving to surpass 2,000 yards receiving for his career.

" Allen needs 2.5 sacks to tie the franchise’s all-time single season sack record of 21 set by Chris Doleman in 1989.

" Tight end Jim Kleinsasser is set to play in his 181st and final career game in the NFL.

Michael C. Wright

ESPN Chicago Bears reporter

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