While the Vikings don't have postseason hopes on the line as they enter their final game of the season, you can be sure they're still looking for a win.
Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer told media following the Packers game that Minnesota will prepare "like we do every week."
While the primary focus will be on winning as a team, Viking Update's John Holler pointed out that a number of personal milestones can be met against the Bears on Jan. 1. He wrote the following of benchmarks Bradford can hit:
If Sam Bradford throws for 131 yards, Vikings quarterbacks will have thrown for 4,000 yards. Bradford had 3,627 yards (the other 242 are from the season-opening start Shaun Hill made against Tennessee).
If Bradford throws for 99 yards, he will set a new personal single-season best for yards that he set last year in 14 games with Philadelphia (3,725).
If Bradford can complete more than 70 percent of his passes Sunday, he will set the NFL record for completion percentage in a season. He is currently at 71.3 percent. The current record is 71.2 percent by Drew Brees in 2011. If he doesn't have a horrible day, he will break the Minnesota franchise record of 69.2 percent set by Daunte Culpepper in 2004.
Holler listed 15 different Vikings who can have personal accomplishments with a strong finish to the season. Included were Thielen and Stefon Diggs, who need 40 and 97 receiving yards, respectively, to reach 1,000 for the first time in their career; Kyle Rudolph, who needs one touchdown to hold the record for touchdowns by a Vikings tight end; and Danielle Hunter, who needs only one sack to have the most sacks in a season by a Viking since 2011.
5 costliest mistakes for Vikings according to Andrew Krammer
With Saturday's 38-25 loss to the Packers, the Vikings were officially eliminated from the playoffs after a 2016 season filled with challenges.
Andrew Krammer of the Star Tribune said that numerous factors led to Minnesota's string of losses in the second half of the season, but he dubbed five mistakes the costliest. Krammer first listed offensive line woes at Philadelphia:
Quarterback Sam Bradford was blitzed and battered, taking 19 hits with six sacks during the Vikings first loss of the season [Oct. 23] in Philadelphia. After losing both starting tackles, a trio of Jake Long, T.J. Clemmings and Jeremiah Sirles surrendered much of the damage. The offense squandered three consecutive takeaways by the defense, including when Brandon Graham pushed Clemmings aside and drilled [quarterback Sam Bradford on his goal-line interception. Long, the newly signed free agent, was then beat for a strip sack to start the next series.
Secondly, Krammer highlighted the Vikings late-game defense against the Lions. He wrote:
On Nov. 6 at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Vikings seemingly put away the Lions off Sam Bradford's 13-play, 79-yard touchdown drive capped by a Rhett Ellison run. With a 16-13 lead in the closing seconds, then-kicker Blair Walsh, who missed two kicks that day, botched the ensuing kickoff with a touchback. Then the aggressive Vikings ran a prevent defense, which surrendered Matthew Stafford's 27-yard pass to Andre Roberts to set up the tying field goal. The Vikings defense folded in overtime for the 22-16 loss.
The final trio of mistakes Krammer included were Bradford's interception at Washington, Adam Thielen's fumbled punt return against Dallas and Linval Joseph's penalty against the Colts on a field goal attempt that then allowed an additional – and successful – run at the end zone for Indianapolis.