Bears take to the Sunday night stage vs Vikings in their biggest game since 2013

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - NOVEMBER 11: Khalil Mack #52 of the Chicago Bears celebrates with fans after the team win against the Detroit Lions at Soldier Field on November 11, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images)

CHICAGO – Significant games, in general, just haven’t been the Bears’ thing over the past half-decade. Lack of success from the franchise, naturally, had a big reason that was the case.

The Bears finished under .500 in 2014, 2015, 2016, and then 2017 before firing a coach for the third time since the end of the 2012 season.  That meant no playoff games, so no postseason moments to reflect on for rooters of the team.

Since their play has fallen off so much, few regular season games have carried much significance. But that all changes on Sunday.

Innovative and effective offense along with a dynamic defense have led to six wins in nine games, and in mid-November, the Bears have their biggest game in five years on Sunday.

They’ll host the Vikings on Sunday Night Football at 7:20 PM at Soldier Field in a game which the winner walks out with the NFC North lead. It’s easily the biggest contest of the season so far and probably since 2013 for a team that’s enjoying some much-needed success in the early Matt Nagy era.

“These are the games you live for,” said linebacker Khalil Mack of the Sunday night contest. “We want to be in a spot where you can clinch this thing down the line. So this is going to be a game that could very well tell the story towards the end of the season.”

Already the excitement has been building, especially on Social Media, where the Bears prepared this hype video featuring linebacker Danny Trevathan.

NBC put out this video of Bears’ Hall of Fame linebacker Mike Singletary delivering his thoughts on the contest.

It’s certainly been a while for the Bears when it comes to Sunday night games at Soldier Field. Sunday will be the first since November 11, 2012 when then 7-1 Chicago hosted the undefeated Houston Texans, with visitors coming out with the 13-6 win on a rainy night on the lakefront.

Not since October 16, 2011 have the Bears picked up a Sunday night win at home, ironically against the Vikings, whom they defeated 39-10.

Arguably this is the biggest regular season contest for team since the late afternoon game against the Packers at Soldier Field on December 29, 2013. The winner would take home the NFC North title with the loser going home since neither team had a good enough record to get a Wild Card.

Nursing a one-point lead in the final minute, a blown coverage allowed Aaron Rodgers to find Randall Cobb for a 48-yard touchdown to give Green Bay a 33-28 win that knocked the Bears out of the playoffs.

Those consequences won’t be on the line tonight, but certainly the fate of an NFC North title could be influenced by this game under the lights.

“That’s the type of pressure that you want – you want people to want to see you on primetime,” said defensive end Akiem Hicks. “You want the league to give you that respect and say ‘Hey, these guys are playing good football, we want to see them on the only game of the evening'”

So do Bears’ fans. It’s been a while.