Minnesota maintain momentum

02 January 2018 04:29:17 GMTPlus11

The Minnesota Vikings continued their pursuit of playing a Super Bowl in their own stadium with a comfortable 23-10 victory over the Chicago Bears on Sunday.

The win clinched a first round bye for the Vikings, who along with the Philadelphia Eagles will now take a week off to rest while the Wild Card Weekend plays out on the NFC.

Quarterback Case Keenum was an efficient 21-of-29 for 189 yards and one touchdown in the triumph over the Bears, with running back Latavius Murray scoring twice while rushing for 111 yards on 20 carries.

Curiously neither Keenum nor Murray was expected to be the focus for Minnesota when they started the season, with Sam Bradford the starting quarterback and rookie Dalvin Cook in the backfield.

Both Bradford and Cook were injured early in the campaign and the Vikings overcame their 2-2 start to win 11 of 12 the rest of the way.

Cook will certainly be back in the starting line-up when he returns next season from his ACL injury, but the status of Bradford, the now healthy Teddy Bridgewater and Keenum will be one of the stories of the off-season.

For now, however, Minnesota will continue their focus on reaching the Super Bowl to be held at the US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis on February 4th.

The Atlanta Falcons will take in the Los Angeles Rams on Saturday and the Carolina Panthers travel to New Orleans to face the Saints on Sunday, with the lowest remaining seed playing the Eagles in the Divisional round.

The Vikings get the higher remaining seed and it would be something of a surprise if Minnesota did not host the Rams.

Minnesota are 1.57 to win the NFC Championship and 3.20 to claim victory in Super Bowl LII.

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