On Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings had an opportunity to keep themselves in the chase for the final playoff spot in the NFC. Instead, they got pounded by an offense led by Mitchell Trubisky.
The Bears didn’t punt after their first possession on Sunday afternoon and the Vikings’ last-second shot fell just short as Chicago came away with a 33-27 victory at U.S. Bank Stadium. The loss effectively ends the competitive portion of the Vikings’ 2020 season as they have virtually no shot at the playoffs at this point.
Chicago got on the board first in this one, courtesy of an 8-yard pass from Mitchell Trubisky to Darnell Mooney for a touchdown. Cairo Santos added the extra point, and the visiting team had a 7-0 lead six minutes into the contest.
Minnesota came back on the very next possession and evened things up on a 2-yard pass from Kirk Cousins to Adam Thielen for a touchdown. Dan Bailey, who if you haven’t heard has had a rough go of it over the past couple of weeks, hit the extra point, and the game was tied at 7-7.
Chicago took the lead back on their next possession, as Cairo Santos connected on a 42-yard field goal to go ahead 10-7 just before the end of the first quarter.
After another Vikings punt, the Bears marched down the field again and scored on a 1-yard run from David Montgomery, extending their lead from 17-7.
On the Vikings’ next possession, they opted to go for it on a fourth-and-inches from their own 34-yard line, only to have Dalvin Cook get stuffed behind the line of scrimmage for a turnover on downs. The result was more points for the Bears, as Santos hit a 35-yarder to extend the Chicago lead to 20-7.
Minnesota did get some points back before the end of the half, as they got a 24-yard field goal from Dan Bailey to cut the deficit to 20-10 at halftime.
The Vikings got more points on the first possession of the second half, as Dalvin Cook went into the end zone from a yard out to cut the score to 20-17. It was Cook’s 15th touchdown of the season and came after a very impressive drive.
Chicago pushed the lead back to 10 on their first possession of the second half, courtesy of a 14-yard touchdown run from David Montgomery. Santos hit the extra point to make the score 27-17 with just over five minutes remaining in the third quarter.
Minnesota cut into the lead again on the next possession, getting a 22-yard field goal from Bailey to make it 27-20 with a little more than two and a half minutes left in the third quarter.
Santos made his third field goal of the day to start the fourth quarter, this one a 48-yarder to make the score 30-20. But the Vikings answered on their next possession, thanks to a big-time catch-and-run from Tyler Conklin on a pass from Cousins, a 20-yard score that once again cut the Chicago lead to three at 30-27.
The Bears appeared to be getting ready to ice the game, but on third-and-goal from the Minnesota 6, Mitchell Trubisky tried to force one in to Allen Robinson and instead threw it to Cameron Dantzler for an interception! That gave the Vikings life just before the two-minute warning with a touchback and an opportunity to tie or take the lead.
Unfortunately, the Vikings couldn’t get a single first down after the pick, as a 4th-and-1 pass attempt from Cousins fell incomplete for a turnover on downs. Santos added another field goal to make it 33-27 with less than a minute remaining.
The Vikings got themselves in position to attempt a Hail Mary from the Chicago 33-yard line, but Kirk Cousins’ pass was tipped and intercepted by the Bears to end the game and, effectively, end the Vikings’ season.
Dalvin Cook had a solid performance on the ground in this one, carrying the ball 24 times for 132 yards and a score. He also had five catches for 27 yards.
Given the amount of pressure he faced today, Cousins played a fairly solid game, completing 24-of-35 passes for 271 yards, two touchdowns, and the interception on the final pass. Justin Jefferson had another 100-yard game, hauling in eight passes for 104 yards on the afternoon. In the process, he surpassed Randy Moss’ team record for the most receptions in a season by a rookie.
The defense for the Vikings was even more awful than it has been for most of the season. The Bears punted on their first drive of the afternoon and did not punt after that, adding points on every possession except for the one that ended with the Dantzler interception.
The Vikings fall to 6-8 on the year, and will head to the Big Easy to take on the New Orleans Saints on Christmas Day. The Bears even their record at 7-7 and will travel to face the Jacksonville Jaguars next week before finishing their season by hosting the Green Bay Packers.
The Vikings fall to the Bears in Week 15 action by a score of 33-27, effectively ending any hope they had of making the 2020 NFC playoffs. Thank you to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!