They came to see Dalvin Cook. They left talking about Kirk Cousins.
(And the Vikings’ defense.)
The Vikings got the football first, and the teams exchanged turnovers on their first possessions. Kyle Rudolph lost the first fumble of his career on the Vikings’ first drive, and that was followed by Harrison Smith intercepting a pass that went off of Anthony Miller’s hands.
The Vikings had a much better ending to their second possession, as Kirk Cousins found Adam Thielen for an incredible 17-yard touchdown. Dan Bailey added the extra point, and the Vikings had a 7-0 lead just over midway through the first quarter.
The Bears got a 23-yard field goal from Cairo Santos just before the end of the first quarter to cut the score to 7-3.
Towards the end of the half, with the Vikings near the red zone, Cousins attempted to hit Adam Thielen, but the ball bounced off of #19 and into the hands of Khalil Mack for an interception. That set the Bears up in Minnesota territory. However, the Vikings limited the damage and forced the Bears to settle for another field goal from Santos, this one a 42-yarder to make the score 7-6.
The Bears took the lead back as soon as the teams came out of the locker room at halftime, as Cordarrelle Patterson took the second half kickoff and returned it 104 yards for a touchdown. Santos hit the extra point, and just like that it was 13-7 in favor of the home team.
The Vikings caught a break soon after, as Dwayne Harris muffed a punt from Britton Colquitt, with Josh Metellus recovering at the Chicago 20. But, the Vikings could only manage a 37-yard field goal from Dan Bailey to cut the lead to 13-10 with just under eleven minutes remaining in the third.
Minnesota got another field goal near the end of the third quarter, as Dan Bailey connected from 43 to tie the score at 13-13.
The Vikings took the lead back early in the fourth quarter, as Cousins and Thielen connected for another touchdown, this one a six-yard pitch-and-catch. The extra point saw a bad snap from Austin Cutting that Britton Colquitt couldn’t pick up, so the lead remained at six, 19-13.
That was all it took for the Vikings to get their third win at Soldier Field of the Mike Zimmer era, as they held on to the ball long enough at the end of the game to keep the Bears from mounting a comeback. This also marks the first time that Mike Zimmer has beaten Matt Nagy and the first time that Kirk Cousins has led a victory on Monday Night Football.
Cousins was the main force of the offense in this one after a couple of weeks of watching the Dalvin Cook Show. He completed 25-of-36 passes for 292 yards, a pair of touchdowns to Adam Thielen, and an interception. Justin Jefferson led the Vikings in receiving yardage, racking up 135 yards on eight catches. Thielen had 43 yards on four catches to go along with his two scores.
Cook actually had a fairly quiet game in this one. He rushed for 96 yards, but it took him 30 carries to get there. He also had four catches for just 16 yards.
The victory moves the Vikings to 4-5 on the season, and gives them a 3-1 record in the NFC North after beating all three of their division rivals over the past three weeks. They kick off a three-game homestand on Sunday, as they return to U.S. Bank Stadium to take on the Dallas Cowboys. The Bears fall to 5-5 with their fourth consecutive loss, and will take their bye week in Week 11.
The Minnesota Vikings get a rare victory at Soldier Field on Monday Night Football, holding on to beat the Chicago Bears by a final score of 19-13. Thanks to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!