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Pre-Gamer: Vikings vs. Bears

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Pre-Gamer: Vikings vs. Bears

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Julius Peppers

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Though the Bears have a better record, the Vikings are coming into Soldier Field as a one-point favorite on Sunday. Here's what you need to know to be ready for the game:

Peppers possessed:
Julius Peppers last faced off against the Vikings when he was with the Carolina Panthers, and he dominated Bryant McKinnie. He got past the offensive tackle to hassle Favre all day, ending with a sack, a deflected pass and three hits on Favre.

Not-so-sweet home Chicago: Embattled Vikings coach Brad Childress grew up in Aurora, but he won't enjoy the comforts of home on this visit to the Windy City. These trips are for business only. "It's not like I get to spend a lot of time down on Michigan Avenue or eating Chicago-style pizza or hitting any of the Italian places or anything like that," Childress said.

With a little bit of luck: The Bears will wear the 1940s throwback uniforms on Sunday. The last time they donned those jerseys, they won in the final minutes over the Packers in a game that could be called lucky. Whatever helps, right?

Punting power: Two of the league's best punt returners will be at Soldier Field on Sunday. Devin Hester leads the league in punt return yards, yards per return and touchdowns. The Vikings' Greg Camarillo isn't far behind Hester (sixth in overall yards) but hasn't shown the same big play ability. 

Ready to run: The Bears have the third-best rushing defense in the league. It will face its biggest test against the Vikings' Adrian Peterson, the league's second-best rusher. He is averaging more than 100 yards per game.

At home on the road: Peterson said that he loves playing at Soldier Field, in part because it was the home of his hero, Walter Payton. "I don’t know what it is, probably [because] Sweetness played there and just the tradition of the stadium," Peterson said.

History: This will be the 98th time that the Bears and Vikings have met. The Bears leave the series 52-43-2.

Weather: Sunday is supposed to be sunny and cold -- NFC North weather. The high is 49 degrees.

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