In the Vikings-Bears game, Bears’ kicker Robbie Gould made a 37 yard field goal with less than two minutes remaining in regulation to tie the game at 23. The kick came after rookie Minnesota kicker Daniel Carlson was flagged for an illegal motion penalty that negated what would have been his attempt from 45 yards out earlier in the drive.
The “vikings loss today” was a game that was not as exciting as the Vikings had hoped for. The team lost to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers by only one point, but it was not enough to win.
CHICAGO (WLS) — When the Minnesota Vikings faced the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, the regular menu of events was served up: poor quarterbacking, penalties, turnovers, and horrible all-around performance.
Fortunately for Minnesota, the Vikings made less errors than the Bears and won 17-9 to go back to.500 for the third time this season.
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The Vikings’ eighth victory of the season reaffirmed what many already suspected: that this squad plays down to its level of competition, in this instance a Bears team that was ousted from the playoffs on Monday night. The Bears’ own ineptness cost them more than Minnesota’s ability to establish dominance over a club that was missing its starting secondary and had 14 players, including its offensive and special-teams coaches, on the COVID-19/reserve list.
Furthermore, Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields had a poor showing, with some of the blame being on Fields’ development and the rest on the Vikings’ defense. After five trips inside the red zone, Chicago only managed one touchdown, which came on the penultimate play of the fourth quarter when Fields fired a 19-yard touchdown pass to Jesper Horsted.
Even though the game was already finished at that moment, Minnesota had now won 11 consecutive games by a single touchdown. This squad still has a long way to go in terms of closing out opponents before the last play of the game.
Vikings coach Mike Zimmer stated, “We had some times when it wasn’t very good, but they battled.” “This last week, I was quite harsh with them. Extremely demanding. I’m not suggesting that’s the cause, but these men are also quite proud of themselves. All we have to do now is keep working on them, keep trying to develop them, and keep focusing on the areas where they need to improve. But the key thing is that we aim to improve over the next three weeks. It’s not enough to merely come up and toss the balls around. “Let’s improve.”
Minnesota’s odds of reaching the playoffs have climbed to 31%, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI), and it has re-entered the NFC playoff race as the No. 7 seed. If Washington loses to Philadelphia on Tuesday night, the Vikings will remain there.
Kirk Cousins’ lackluster performance in Chicago continues in his fourth visit to Soldier Field as a Viking. In 118 career starts, he had the fewest passing yards with 87. In the victory, he tossed two touchdowns but only completed half of his passes and suffered a season-high four sacks. Cousins’ problems were exacerbated by Minnesota’s offensive line, which caused him to seem pressured and pass short of the sticks on many third-and-long situations. (On third down, the Vikings went 5-of-16.) Cousins finished 1-of-8 with an interception on passes that traveled at least 10 air yards after going 2-of-3 for a score in the first quarter. After starting the game 3-of-3 with a score while targeting his best receiver, he threw five consecutive incompletions to Justin Jefferson until late in the fourth quarter.
The Vikings had a comfortable lead in Chicago after Ihmir Smith-7-yard Marsette’s touchdown reception. David Banks/Associated Press
The Vikings didn’t appear to want to take advantage of the fact that all four of Chicago’s starting defensive backs were declared inactive for Week 15. “To be honest, we maybe passed the ball too much early,” Zimmer said after Cousins went 9-of-16 for 60 yards, a touchdown, and an interception in the first half. “I felt we were running the ball well early in the game, and we attempted to throw it a little too much, trying to get some shots over the top of them, and they did a great job back there,” he said. And when [Cousins] had to draw the ball down, he was sacked because he was under too much pressure.” To make responsibilities simpler for the young DBs on Monday, the Bears used a lot of two-deep coverage. Minnesota struggled to accomplish much other than dink and dunk their way down the field at times because of this. Even when Cousins had time and windows to throw, he would frequently send targets in other directions than Jefferson’s. The Vikings had a great chance to exploit a weak secondary and put the game out of reach. Instead, Minnesota relied on their run game against Chicago to keep the time ticking, running for 132 yards.
The Vikings were behind at halftime after gaining just 5 yards on 13 plays in the second quarter. On Minnesota’s first drive of the third quarter, the offense looked shabby and needed a lift, which it received in the form of 30 yards of penalties from Chicago’s defense. On third-and-18, Dalvin Cook ran 5 yards on a delayed handoff, but Teez Tabor was penalized for a low block, giving the Vikings a new set of downs. Bears linebacker Trevis Gipson was penalized for unnecessary roughness five plays later, moving Minnesota into the red zone. Because the Bears’ defense was upset and rattled, defensive back Kindle Vildor was out of position on Ihmir Smith-7-yard Marsette’s touchdown catch, which gave the Vikings a double-digit lead for the first time. “That was huge for us, it ran down the whole field,” Jefferson said. “We’ll take the penalties because they weren’t as disciplined and we were just playing football and letting them run their mouth.”
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The “dalton injury” is a mistake that led to the lackluster Vikings’ performance. The team’s quarterback, Teddy Bridgewater, suffered a torn ACL and was placed on injured reserve.
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