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Vikings should prove their superiority; NFL.

Byline: Simon Milham

THE last Monday night game of the regular season is not one to get heavily involved in, writes Simon Milham.

Minnesota are more talented right across the board and are smarting from successive road defeats in Arizona and Carolina.

Just five weeks ago they whacked Chicago 36-10 in the reverse fixture. Despite a couple of upsets, layers make them only seven-point favourites over a Bears team who have beaten only St Louis in their last seven games and that is bordering on disrespect.

But their previous record in the Windy City has been taken into consideration. The Vikings have lost seven of their last eight trips FORMGUIDE MINNESOTA at CHICAGO (a) 7-26 Carolina (a) 7-31 Baltimore (h) 30-10 Cincinnati (h) 14-21 Green Bay (a) 17-30 Arizona (h) 17-9 St Louis (h) 36-10 Chicago (a) 10-36 Minnesota (h) 35-9 Seattle (h) 20-24 Philadelphia (h) 27-10 Detroit (a) 6-10 S Francisco TEAM NEWS Minnesota WR Percy Harvin (neck), OG Steve Hutchinson (shoulder), DE Brian Robison (quadricep), DT Pat Williams (elbow) and CB Antoine Winfield (foot) are rated questionable for the Vikings. Chicago DE Adewale Ogunleye (leg) will miss the rest of the season. T Orlando Pace (groin) should be fit. WR Devin Hester (calf) is rated questionable.

to Soldier Field, including a 48-41 verdict in October last year.

And in their most recent outing, a 26-7 defeat in Carolina, quarterback Brett Favre was sacked four times and faced pressure all night. Head coach Brad Childress wanted to bench Favre to protect but after a heated discussion the 40-year-old passer got his own way.

Favre has thrown for just three touchdowns with four interceptions in December but the Bears have far more problems at quarterback than the Vikings.

Bears general manager Jerry Angelo has left open the possibility that head coach Lovie Smith will not be back next year. Smith has been badly let down by the ineffective play of QB Jay Cutler, whose supporters insist that he was always going to struggle with the substandard wide receivers who surround him.

But Cutler is more of a problem than a solution at the moment and even if they are motivated to beat the Vikings, it will be a hollow victory in a season that promised much more.
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Title Annotation:Sports
Publication:The Racing Post (London, England)
Date:Dec 28, 2009
Words:377
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