The Bears have every reason to be confident heading into Week 17. They’ve won eight of their last nine games, including three in a row, and they’re still playing for the chance at a first round bye if they get a little help.
Even so, the majority of NFL experts are predicting the 8-6-1 Minnesota Vikings to take the home victory over the 11-4 Bears on Sunday, according to NFL Pick Watch.
Just 26 percent of the predictions have picked Chicago, although that is the third-closest game of the week in terms of predictions.
Out of the 12 most accurate prognosticators this season, only three pick the Bears in Week 17.
The analytics models all seem to like the Vikings too, with Number Fire, Microsoft Cortana, Pro Football Focus and Five Thirty Eight all siding with Minnesota.
Even our own J.J. Stankevitz predicts Chicago to fall short.
It may not be the ending to the season Bears fans want, but they’re already guaranteed at least one more game, and that will be a welcomed change.
Welcome back, gang.
It’s here! The last week of the regular season. The division’s wrapped up, but with the #2 overall seed still in play, it’s looking like we’ll see most of the Bears starters for at least the first half.
Also this is a wonderful time to remind you that you can Click here to download the new MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of the Bears and stream the ‘Football Aftershow’ easily on your device.
337- TOUCHDOWN BEARS. Well that was easy. Jordan Howard runs 55 yards down the Vikings throat and the Bears score on a six-play, 71-yard opening drive. BEARS 7, VIKINGS 0.
333- Anthony Miller to the locker room with a gnarly looking shoulder injury. Operation Please Don’t Get Hurt Anyone is going great!
Kevin White getting some special teams action defending the gunner on punt return. That’s his first career special teams snap.
— JJ Stankevitz (@JJStankevitz) December 30, 2018
301- he’s back!
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) December 30, 2018
It looked as though former first-round pick Kevin White might have played his final game with the Bears after weeks of sitting on the bench as a healthy scratch.
He’ll get one more opportunity against the Minnesota Vikings thanks to Allen Robinson’s rib injury.
Today’s inactives for #DaBears:
12 Allen Robinson II
39 Eddie Jackson
46 Michael Burton
69 Rashaad Coward
85 Daniel Brown
97 Nick Williams
99 Aaron Lynch#CHIvsMIN
— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) December 30, 2018
Robinson was listed as doubtful for the game, but he did travel with the team. He was unable to go, so both White and rookie seventh-round pick Javon Wims are active for the first time in over a month.
Tight end Daniel Brown is somewhat of a surprise inactive, and it looks like he’s taking the place of Wims on the bench.
Injured safety Eddie Jackson is also out again with his ankle injury, and Deon Bush is set to start in his place.
Rookie sixth-round pick Kyle Fitts is back for the second-straight week with Aaron Lynch out too.
For the Vikings, linebacker Eric Kendricks is sidelined as expected, but cornerback Xavier Rhodes and offensive linemen Tom Compton and Mike Remmers are all active for the game.
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 30, 2018