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CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 12: Jay Culter #6 of the Chicago Bears drops back to pass as the Bears take on the New England Patriots at Soldier Field on December 12, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Patriots defeated the Bears 36-7. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Jay Cutler
The Bears are seven-point favorites heading into tonight's frozen game against the Vikings in Minnesota. Here's what you need to know before the kickoff:
Brett Favre just may play again: Despite missing last Monday's game and having a sprained shoulder, Brett Favre was upgraded from "out" to "questionable" today. He will test out his arm before the game, and we may have to deal with another game of Brett-Favreness. His zombie-like tendency to always return may end up helping the Bears, as Chicago owned him in the last game -- three interceptions and a fumble. If Favre doesn't play, the Vikings will turn to third-stringer Webb.
Playoff potential: The Packers did their part, losing to the Patriots in a dramatic Sunday night game. Now, the Bears have to do their job to get in the playoffs: win, and they're in.
Urlacher on fire: Against the Patriots, Brian Urlacher did everything he could to win. Though he was unsuccessful, it was one more game where he was super human for the defense. In the past four games, he's had at least five tackles per game, plus two sacks, a forced fumble and five broken up passes. He'll need another game like that to clinch his third NFC North championship.
Slow starters now sack machines: Both the Vikings' Jared Allen and the Bears Julius Peppers have both had sacks in each of their last four games. In fact, Allen's sacky streak goes back six games. As a result, tonight should feature a lot of quarterbacks on the ground.
Snow games: The weather is going to be awful. The field conditions are going to be awful. Still, the NFL has pushed ahead with forcing the Bears and Vikings to play at the outdoor TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Expect a run and defense heavy game, meaning Matt Forte is front and center.
Personnel issues: Minnesota's top receiver Percy Harvin is expected to play after sitting out two games with migraines, while Adrian Peterson is questionable because of knee, ankle and thigh problems. The Bears don't have anyone listed on the injury report and everyone practiced on Friday and Saturday.
Record watch: Devin Hester is still on the cusp of history. If he has a return touchdown tonight, he will become the NFL's all-time return touchdown leader. However, with the poor field conditions, don't expect it.
History lesson: This will be the 99th time the Bears will play the Vikings. Minnesota has the edge, 44-52-2.