With the Packers close loss to the Patriots on Sunday night, everyone is now fully aware of what’s at stake for the Bears tonight – the NFC North title is theirs with a win over the Vikings.
Besides that little detail, there are several other subplots to watch during tonight’s outdoor battle:
Favre’s status upgraded.
Around noon Monday, news broke that Brett Favre was upgraded from “out” to “questionable” for the game. This of course, made the folks at ESPN drool.
Number 4 will supposedly try to throw a couple of hours before kickoff when Vikings brass will then make the decision whether to start him. If he can’t go, it’ll be rookie Joe Webb taking snaps for Minnesota.
With or without Favre, we’re standing by our prediction: 19-10, Monsters of the Midway.
There will be snow.
The forecast in Minneapolis called for 3-5 inches of snow during the day, and another 1-3 at night. This should benefit the Bears considering they played in similar conditions last week…and the Vikes are used to playing in the climate-controlled comfort of a dome.
With field conditions being less than ideal, it could mean the offenses will have an advantage with footing. Perhaps a Cutler-to-Hester quick slant that goes the distance.
Minnesota will be without All-Pro guard, Steve Hutchinson, which will have an adverse impact on their ground game, especially if throwing conditions are tough.
The Frozen Tundra Part Deux.
With the windchill factor dropping temperatures around 0 degrees, the field will be hard, regardless of what the dedicated grounds crew tries to accomplish with tarps and space heaters.
While Vikes punter Chris Kluwe sounded off about the field via Twitter, using words like “unplayable” and “concrete” in describing it, others are reporting the field is in good condition.
Surely the field is in better shape than the carpet-over-concrete playing surface at the old Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia.
The Vikings 50 greatest Vikings.
The Vikings let their fans vote for the 50 greatest players in franchise history. Those individuals will be honored tonight. The list includes several current players: Jared Allen, Steve Hutchinson, Adrian Peterson, Kevin Williams and Antoine Winfield.
While there were no doubt some great players to recognize – such as Allan Page, Joey Browner, Chris Carter, Chuck Foreman, Carl Eller and Jim Marshall – I question the validity of any list that includes Daunte Culpepper.
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