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Pregame Warmup

Bears set to close season vs. Vikings

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MINNEAPOLIS – The Bears will look to snap a four-game losing streak when they close the season Sunday by visiting the Minnesota Vikings at TCF Bank Stadium.

While the Bears (5-10) have lost seven of their last nine games, the Vikings (6-9) have dropped seven of their last 11. The winner of Sunday's contest will finish third in the NFC North.

One week after getting benched, quarterback Jay Cutler returns to start in place of his replacement, Jimmy Clausen, who sustained a concussion in last Sunday's loss to the Detroit Lions.

Cutler's 66.1 completion percentage and 89.5 passer rating this season are career highs. But he leads the NFL with 18 interceptions and 24 turnovers. He needs two touchdown passes and 198 yards passing to break Erik Kramer's single-season Bears records of 29 TD passes and 3,838 yards.

Kyle Long can make history Sunday. But breaking the NFL record for most receptions in a season by a running back is not his primary concern. Forte needs eight receptions to eclipse Larry Centers' record of 101 catches set in 1995.

"It's important, but not the most important thing to me," Forte said. "I'm not going to go out looking to get eight catches. I'm really just going out there to run the ball, catch the ball, block and do what I've got to do for us to be successful on offense and help us win the game."

Forte is third in the NFL with 1,772 yards from scrimmage, 10th in rushing with 987 yards and sixth with 94 receptions.

After playing the previous six seasons for the Vikings, veteran defensive end Jared Allen returns to play his first game in Minnesota Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium.

"It's another game, but it's always exciting to go back and play against the team you came from," Allen said. "It's not playing in the dome, so it's not like there are memories there. It'll always be fun to go back and play those guys and play back in the city for the first time in front of those fans. I wouldn't call it extra juice. It's another game, but it's always fun."

The Bears won the first meeting between the teams 21-13 on Nov. 16 at Soldier Field. After falling behind 10-0, they scored 21 unanswered points.

Cutler completed 31 of 43 passes for 330 yards with three touchdowns, two interceptions and a 98.0 passer rating. All three of his TDs came on contested throws versus one-on-one coverage with Brandon Marshall catching two of the passes and Alshon Jeffery snaring one.

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