Pounded on the ground: Stout, menacing defense has long been a hallmark for the Bears, but injuries and aging have precipitated a rapid demise this season. In three of their five losses they’ve allowed 40-plus points, including last week at St. Louis. Only three other teams, Minnesota among them, have given up more than Chicago’s average of 28.1 points per game.
With the absences of tackle Henry Melton, linebackers Lance Briggs and D.J. Williams and cornerback Charles Tillman proving costly, the Bears have allowed an average of NFL-worst 145.2 yards rushing per game.
The Vikings rushed for 232 yards last week against the Packers, with a less-than-100-percent Adrian Peterson getting backup help from Toby Gerhart.
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