Thankfully, the Vikings were able to defend U.S. Bank Stadium in the regular season finale and defeated the Bears by a final score of 23-10 and gave themselves one well-deserved week of rest before heading into the playoffs. Case Keenum was sacked only once and finished 21-of-29 passing for 189 yards, one touchdown and no turnovers. Since the start of the 2016 season, Murray has 20 rushing touchdowns, which ranks second in the National Football League behind Dallas' Ezekiel Elliott (22).
The Vikings had fallen to 2-2 at the quarter point of the season, stinging from a 14-7 defeat at home by Detroit made possible by three lost fumbles and made worse by the season-ending ACL tear to running back Dalvin Cook's knee suffered that afternoon.
Their first drive deep into Vikings territory stalled at the six-yard line, and Xavier Rhodes - who'd needed to walk off a minor injury earlier in the series - followed Dontrelle Inman across the field on fourth down, breaking up a strong throw from Mitch Trubisky and denying the Bears a touchdown on a crossing route.
Howard has four carries for -3 yards in the first half.
Arsenal of Guns Found in Hotel Hours Before New Year Celebrations
Investigators said the man was taken into custody at the hotel, where they found several weapons and ammunition in his room. When attempts to subdue the man failed, the officer called for what's been described as urgent backup around 1:30 a.m.
View the best pregame images as the Vikings got set to take on the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
Minnesota's last bye in the first round came in the 2010 playoffs. Despite the minus-11 temperature outside at the start of the game, all fans were required to open their coats for inspection. Minnesota came through with a big stop at the goal line late in the game, the second time the Bears turned the ball over on downs inside the 10-yard line on Sunday.
Bears: Two starting offensive linemen, LT Bobby Massie and RG Josh Sitton, did not suit up. Bryce Callahan's punt-return touchdown for Chicago was the first of his career.
Depending upon the outcome of the Jacksonville and Denver games, Minnesota is on pace to finish first in both total defense (280.9 yards) and scoring defense (16.1 PPG) for the first time in 47 years.