CHICAGO (CBS) — Analyst Tom Thayer says even though the Bears have been eliminated from the playoffs and their season will be over after Sunday, a victory against the Minnesota Vikings is crucial.

“The Minnesota team is not very good. They can’t go out there and say: ‘Oh, it was the last game of the year. We had nothing on the line. We went up there, there was crowd noise, we were flat.’ There can’t be any excuses for losing this game.” Thayer told WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Kerner. “They’ve had a lot of excuses in this losing streak, however, they have to go out there and conclude this season a win, start the new year with a win, and it’s a lot better to be 8-8 than it is 7-9.”

LISTEN: Tom Thayer talks with WBBM Newsradio’s Dave Kerner

Thayer also says Josh McCown deserves a “competitor’s chance” to prove himself as a quarterback with the Bears.

“I do believe that he’s shown that he’s a dedicated athlete still, even at this stage of his career, and he’s willing to put in a lot of individual time to be prepared, so I really like that about what I’ve been able to see about Josh McCown,” he said.

But Thayer says the backup quarterback position needs to become more competitive, so that the team doesn’t run the risk of falling apart again as it did in recent weeks after Jay Cutler had to leave with a thumb injury.

“Jay Cutler is the quarterback for the Bears, but behind him, whether it’s youth, veteran experience, whatever your asset is, I think that position needs to get more competitive so you don’t have this scenario present itself again,” he said.

Still, McCown should be given a chance against the Vikings, rather than the Bears bringing in rookie quarterback Nathan Enderle for the final game.

As for the offseason, Thayer says as far as sweeping changes, “it’s always the less the better.” But the Bears need to make some upgrades and “there has to be some turnover.”

For their last game of the season, the Bears take on the Vikings at noon Sunday at the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in Minneapolis.

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