For the last two weeks, the Minnesota Vikings held their own postseason destiny in their hands.
In the regular season finale, they let it completely slip away.
Courtesy of an offense that, once again, did next to nothing in the first half and a defense that couldn’t get a stop when they needed one, the Vikings fell to the Chicago Bears on Sunday afternoon at U.S. Bank Stadium by a final score of 24-10. Coupled with the Philadelphia Eagles defeating the Washington Redskins at FedEx Field, that means that the Vikings will not be participating in the NFL playoffs starting next week.
The Vikings, once again, did nothing on offense early in this one, as they gained just 11 yards in the entire first quarter. Meanwhile, the Bears had put up two touchdowns by Jordan Howard to take a 13-0 lead early on, thanks to Cory Parkey missing an extra point. The Bears did get some points before the half, courtesy of a 45-yard field goal by Dan Bailey to make it 13-3 going into the locker room.
Minnesota’s offense finally showed some signs of life in the third quarter, as they cut the deficit to 13-10 on a 2-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Stefon Diggs. After that, however, the Bears put together a massive drive that took over nine minutes off the clock and ended with a 3-yard run by Tarik Cohen. With the Bears successfully completing a two-point conversion, the score was 21-10. The visitors added a 42-yard field goal by Parkey to make it 24-10 with just over four minutes left in the game.
That’s how it ended, as the Minnesota Vikings capped what has to go down as one of the more disappointing seasons in recent history by squandering an opportunity to get into the playoffs in back-to-back years for the first time since 2008 and 2009.
Kirk Cousins had a straight-up ugly football game, and I’m sure that’s the narrative that we’ll have to hear about all offseason. He completed 20-of-33 passes for just 132 yards, which is the lowest yardage total he’s ever had as a starting quarterback. Stefon Diggs led the way with seven catches for 43 yards and a touchdown, and Adam Thielen had three catches for 38 yards.
The Vikings’ defense, which came into today’s game as the NFL’s best third-down defense, allowed the Bears to convert 8-of-13 third down attempts, including several that came via penalties to extend drives.
Minnesota finishes their season with a record of 8-7-1, and their season is over. Chicago lifts their record to 12-4, and will host Philadelphia at Soldier Field next weekend.
The Minnesota Vikings take their opportunity to make it to the 2018 NFL playoffs and urinate it directly down their collective leg, falling to the Chicago Bears by a final score of 24-10 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Thank you to everybody that got their coverage of this week’s game, and of this entire season. . .disappointing though it was. . .right here at The Daily Norseman.