Vikings close in on playoff berth with win over Bears


The Minnesota Vikings (9-5) strengthened their hold on a playoff spot and kept the heat on the Packers in the NFC North in a 38-17 win over the Chicago Bears (5-9). Here's what you need to know:

1. Teddy Bridgewater entered Sunday with just nine touchdown passes. He accumulated nearly half that total against the Bears. Bridgewater had more touchdowns (four) than incompletions (three) and finished with a 151.3 passer rating in the most efficient game of his career. This is Adrian Peterson's offense, but a strong finish from Bridgewater can make this team a tough out in January.

2. Stefon Diggs scored touchdowns on two of his three catches, a welcome sign after going six straight weeks without hitting paydirt. Diggs and Bridgewater showed great chemistry on a perfectly placed 15-yard touchdown in the first quarter. It might have been the best throw of Bridgewater's season, and Diggs ran a great route to get separation.

3. Peterson suffered a left ankle injury on a 9-yard run late in the first half, sending the NFL's rushing leader to the locker room. He returned late in the third quarter and finished with 63 yards on 18 carries. Jerick McKinnon, a forgotten man this season after a promising 2014, had 86 yards from scrimmage and two touchdowns.

4. The Bears have gone into the tank since their upset win over the Packers on Nov. 26. The team continues to start slow and sluggish, which reflects poorly on coach John Fox. The Bears were eliminated from playoff contention with the loss. Chicago has qualified for the postseason just once in the past nine years.