Heading into Monday Night Football, the Chicago Bears had 14 players on their COVID-19 list and were without multiple starters, including the entire secondary, as a result. Sounds like an easy victory for the Minnesota Vikings, right?
Come on. . .you must be new here.
In a game where both teams were terrible on offense, the Vikings’ defense had one of its best games of the season, leading the way in a 17-9 victory over the Bears on Monday Night Football.
The Vikings dented the scoreboard first after each team punted on their first possession. Minnesota took advantage of an undermanned Chicago secondary to move the ball downfield and concluded the drive with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Justin Jefferson to take a 7-0 lead.
And we're off @JJettas2 ✈️— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 21, 2021
: @ESPNNFL pic.twitter.com/ya7H49pVtw
Minnesota’s defense then generated the first turnover of the game, as Cameron Dantzler stripped the ball away from Justin Fields on a run play and Anthony Barr recovered it near midfield for the Vikings.
.@camdantzler3 forces it, @AnthonyBarr recovers it. #Vikings ball.— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 21, 2021
: @ESPNNFL pic.twitter.com/Iaeswcga0a
Minnesota turned the turnover into a 37-yard field goal from Greg Joseph to extend their lead to 10-0 early in the second quarter. The Vikings’ defense then forced another turnover, as Sheldon Richardson stripped the ball away from David Montgomery and recovered it deep in Minnesota territory to stop a potential scoring threat from Chicago.
Sheldon Richardson strips David Montgomery in the red zone, falls on the ball, and convinces Mike Zimmer to challenge the call after the officials missed the turnover pic.twitter.com/ow3LcUsBgQ— Will Ragatz (@WillRagatz) December 21, 2021
Chicago did manage to add some points just after the two-minute warning, as Cairo Santos connected on a 34-yard field goal to make the score 10-3. Cousins then threw an interception on the two-minute drive on one of the worst throws of his career (on a play where Justin Jefferson got tackled during his route) and the Bears had a chance to add more points. But, Dalvin Tomlinson got his fingertips on the Santos field goal attempt and it came up short.
The Vikings added to their lead just over halfway through the third quarter, thanks to the first NFL touchdown for Ihmir Smith-Marsette. Cousins found him for a 7-yard score, and the Vikings increased their lead to 17-3.
Hey there @_ihmirr_— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 21, 2021
: @ESPNNFL pic.twitter.com/7RKy4QYUD9
The Bears turned it over yet again early in the fourth quarter, this one on a muffed punt return, but the Vikings could not add more points on the ensuing possession. The Bears, on the other hand, followed with their best drive of the night, as they started from deep in their own territory and had themselves facing a first-and-goal from the Minnesota 9-yard line. But, the Vikings’ defense held firm once again, as Fields’ fourth-down pass carried his receiver out of the end zone for a turnover on downs.
The Vikings’ defense got yet another turnover on downs after Chicago pushed into the red zone again on their next possession. Chicago did finally get into the end zone on the final play of the game, as Fields found tight end Jesper Horsted for a 19-yard touchdown to make the final score a little bit closer.
It certainly wasn’t a beautiful win for the Vikings, but given the circumstances, the Vikings will take it.
The Vikings move to 7-7 on the year, and will return home to U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday afternoon to take on the Los Angeles Rams. The Bears fall to 4-10 and will travel to the Pacific Northwest next week to take on the Seattle Seahawks.
The Minnesota Vikings get themselves an ugly win, beating the Chicago Bears 17-9 on Monday Night Football. Thank you to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!