What’s in it for Vikings defense? A lot.

Minnesota’s pass rush must play a big role if the Vikings are to beat the Bears this Sunday at Soldier Field.

As much as Brett Favre and the Minnesota offense dictate the tone, in recent games against the Bears, defense and special teams could likely decide this game.

The reason why the Vikings must pressure Bears QB Jay Cutler?

Cutler is 17-0 when his passer rating tops 100.

It was a factor the last time these teams met when the host Bears won 36-30 in overtime. Cutler threw for four touchdowns, including the game-winner when Devin Aromashodu hauled in a 39-yard pass in the extra session as Cutler finished with a 108.4 rating.

The Minnesota pass rush, quieted until the breakout game against Arizona, has Jared Allen and Ray Edwards now with 3.5 apiece this season. Allen has 6.5 sacks in four games against the Bears. On the flip side, Julius Peppers has five sacks in the last three meetings against Minnesota.

The Vikings must also pay close attention to Devin Hester, who with one more kick or punt return score, would set the all-time NFL record with 14.

The Bears offense centers around running back Matt Forte, who leads the team in both rushing and receiving. So getting to Cutler in time or disrupting Forte out of the backfield will be a huge challenge for Minnesota.

According to a Tweet from the Star Tribune’s Judd Zulgad around noon today, there’s still no word yet if Sidney Rice is going to see action Sunday. Right now, Childress and Favre are holding their pressers with video to come on vikings.com. Just in, Rice has been cleared to play according to an nbcsports.com report by Mike Florio, but probably won’t see much action, if any.

Again, Kenny Albert, Moose and Goose have the call for FOX in this noontime kickoff.