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Pre-Gamer: Bears End Season With Vikes

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Who doesn't love a good forearm shiver to Jared Allen's head?

    The Bears end their season in Minnesota on Sunday, trying to right a season that fell off a cliff. Here's what you need to know before kickoff.

    McCown and Bell auditioning for next season: With the Bears many injuries, third-stringers are getting serious playing time and a chance to move up to second string. Quarterback Josh McCown and running back Kahlil Bell made impressive strides against Green Bay, but they need to follow up with a consistent performance to continue to move up.

    Jared Allen trying for sack record: The NFL's sack leader is in pursuit of the league's single-season record, but will need a Herculean effort to get it. Allen, who has 18.5 sacks this season, needs 4.5 sacks on Sunday to get the record. It seems like a stretch, but he had 4.5 in 2009 against Green Bay, and the Bears have given up five or more sacks three times this season.

    Where is Purple Jesus? Adrian Peterson went down with an ugly knee injury against the Redskins on Saturday. He tore both his ACL and MCL and has a long rehab in front of him. He has been in the top five of league rushers in four of his past five seasons. In fact, his play has been one of the few brights spots for the Vikings, and now they don't have him.

    Where ya at, pass rush? The Bears pass rush was non-existent on Sunday against Green Bay. Aaron Rodgers went untouched, and Julius Peppers and Israel Idonije combined for one tackle.

    Who will quarterback for Minnesota? Christian Ponder sustained a concussion on Saturday, but has been cleared to play. Joe Webb has been a serviceable back-up, so it will be interesting to see who is under

    History lesson: Minnesota has a 52-47-2 edge over the Bears, a longtime division rival. The Bears beat the Vikings 39-10 in October. Last season, the Bears beat Minnesota twice, including a 40-14 win at TCF Field after the roof of the Metrodome fell through and Brett Favre was sacked into retirement by Corey Wootton.

    Playing for pride: Neither the Bears nor the Vikings have a postseason, but that doesn't mean the game is unimportant. The Vikings are a longtime division rival, and the Bears need to win to put a good end on a disastrous season.