We laughed, we cried, we yawned.
In what was, largely, a battle of field goals, Eddy Pineiro connected on his fourth field goal of the day from 22 yards out to give the Bears a 21-19 victory over the Vikings in the regular season finale.
The Vikings got the ball first, and things got off to a nice start courtesy of a big 59-yard run from Mike Boone. Unfortunately, Sean Mannion fumbled on the next play on a pitch to Boone with the Bears recovering for a turnover.
Mike Boone taketh, giveth pic.twitter.com/XdEMoToJjk— Arif Hasan, nondenominational holiday supporter ⛄ (@ArifHasanNFL) December 29, 2019
The Bears turned that fumble recovery into the first points of the afternoon, as Eddy Pineiro hit a 26-yard field goal to give Chicago a 3-0 lead. The Vikings then proceeded to turn it over on their next drive as well, with Boone bobbling a pass from Mannion into the lap of Bears’ linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis. Chicago turned that into a Pineiro field goal as well, as he connected from 33 yards out to give the Bears a 6-0 lead after one quarter of play.
Minnesota got on the board in the second quarter with a field goal of their own, as Dan Bailey split the uprights from 37 yards out to cut the Chicago lead to 6-3.
Chicago’s defense was responsible for the next points, following a Pat O’Donnell punt that was downed at the 1-yard line. Mike Boone’s roller coaster day continued, as he was tackled in the end zone by Nick Kwiatkowski for a safety to make the score 8-3 in favor of the Bears.
The Bears scored again after the free kick, but once again it was an Eddy Pineiro field goal, this one a 34-yarder to increase the Chicago lead to 11-3. Bailey then added another field goal before halftime, a 38-yarder to make it 11-6 going into the locker room.
The game finally got its first touchdown on the first possession of the second half. The Bears took the second half kickoff and pushed the ball downfield, capping the drive with a 14-yard touchdown run by rookie David Montgomery, who carried several Vikings into the end zone for the score. Pineiro connected on the extra point, and the Bears increased their lead to 18-6.
The Vikings turned a big defensive series into their first touchdown of the game. Late in the third quarter, the Bears stopped a 4th-and-1 quarterback sneak by Mitchell Trubisky and took over in Chicago territory. Then, on the second play of the fourth quarter, Boone went over from a yard out for the Vikings’ first touchdown of the afternoon. Dan Bailey connected on the extra point, and the Bears’ lead was down to five at 18-13.
Minnesota got another field goal from Bailey later in the fourth quarter, as he connected from 39 yards out to make the score 18-16 with just under nine minutes remaining in the game. It appeared that they had a defensive score to take the lead, as Ifaedi Odenigbo stripped Trubisky of the ball, picked it up, and took it to the end zone for what appeared to be a 23-yard touchdown, but he was ruled down by contact on the play.
Near touchdown by Ifeadi Odenigbo who almost gets credit for strip-sack, scoop and score pic.twitter.com/kNML7dtfoM— Arif Hasan, nondenominational holiday supporter ⛄ (@ArifHasanNFL) December 29, 2019
The Vikings could not get the ball into the end zone, and had to settle for Bailey’s fourth field goal of the afternoon, this one a 34-yarder to give the purple their first lead of the afternoon at 19-18.
Trubisky then led the Bears on their final drive, which included a huge conversion on a 4th-and-9 play from around midfield to put the Bears into field goal range. The Bears ran the clock down, and brought in Pineiro for what proved to be the winning score.
It wasn’t a great statistical day for the Vikings, with the exception of running back Mike Boone. He carried the ball 17 times for 148 yards and a score. He also had a fumble (that was technically credited to Mannion) and a bobbled pass that resulted in an interception.
Sean Mannion did not have a great day in his second career NFL start. He completed just 12-of-21 passes for 126 yards and a pair of interceptions, one of which came on the final play of the game. He still does not have a regular season touchdown pass in his five-year NFL career.
The loss means that the Vikings finish the season at 10-6, and will wait to see who they will play on Wild Card Weekend. The Bears get their record to 8-8 with the victory and will head home for the offseason.
The Vikings lose to the Chicago Bears in the 2019 regular season finale at U.S. Bank Stadium by a final score of 21-19. Thanks to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!