Chicago Bears @ Minnesota Vikings
The Bears came into Minnesota with the NFC North title locked, however they were starving for a win and a LA Rams loss to keep their hopes alive of getting a first round playoff bye. The Vikings were playing for a ticket to the playoffs.
The Bears won the toss and deferred to the Vikings. The Vikings did nothing with their first possession and punted to the Bears. The Bears took their first possession quickly down field, which included a J. Howard 42 yard run. J. Howard also finished the drive with a TD run for 6 yards. The Bears drive went for 6 plays 71 yards in 3:46. Bears 7 Vikings 0
Beginning of 2nd Quarter Bears 7 Vikings 0
The Bear’s defense remained stout throughout the 1st half, nearly sacking K. Cousins in his own end zone early in the 2nd quarter. The Bears offense added to their highlight reel as M. Trubisky hit T. Gabriele for 41 yards, putting the Bears on the Viking 1 yard line. J. Howard punched in his 2nd TD of the day with a 1 yard run. The XP was no good, hit the right upright. Bears 13 – Vikings 0. You get the feeling that the kicking issues of Parkey could be the downfall of the Bears’ during their playoff run.
Helped with a personal foul committed by the Bears the Vikings were able to get into field goal territory with just over a minute to go in the 2nd half. With the Rams putting a beat down on the 49ers (28-3) before halftime, the talk of sitting Bears starters echoed in Bears kingdom. Meanwhile the Vikings did get on the board with a field goal. Bears 13 – Vikings 3.
End of 1st Half Stats
Rushing Yards Bears 97 Vikings 18
Passing Yards Bears 108 Vikings 31
TOP Bears 18:42 Vikings 11:18
Bears received the ball to begin the 2nd half and the Bears started with M. Trubisky.
The Vikings kept fighting, scoring on a Cousins short pass to S. Diggs. FG was good. Bears 13 Vikings 10. The Vikings drive went for 12 plays 66 yards in 7:35.
The Bears were still playing all of their starters nearing the end of the third quarter. The Bears were able to move the ball using a combination of Trubisky & Howard runs but were not able to put more points on the board.
End of 3rd Quarter Bears 13 – Vikings 10
The Bears continued to play all players even though it looked as if the LA Rams had already secured the 1st round bye as they continued to clobber the 49ers. The Vikings with everything on the line did not seem to have an answer for the Bears’ offense on 3rd down. The Bears continued to pick up third downs in the 4th quarter. Using just 4:35, T. Cohen punched in a 4 yard TD to put the Bears up 19-10. What may be a sign that the Bears do not trust their kicker, the Bears went for 2 and converted. Bears 21 – Vikings 10
After the Vikings turned the ball over on downs, the Bears continued to put up points as Parkey kicked a 42 yard field goal to put the Bears up by 14. Bears 24 Vikings 10
After the field goal the Bears decided to put in their 2nd string defense.
The second string defense were even able to stop the Vikings and forced them out on a turnover on downs. Trubisky remained in the game, as one would guess that Nagey wanted to get him more reps to prepare for the playoffs. The Bears had not swept a season series against the Vikings since 2011.
Bears Win 24 – 10!!