On paper, the Minnesota Vikings should have handled the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football. The Bears came in at 3-8 and looking towards the future while the Vikings came in at 6-5 and fighting for playoff position in the NFC. But, with this being the Vikings, they found a way to give it away.
Thanks in large part to four turnovers, the Vikings lost a golden opportunity to solidify their spot in the NFC playoff picture, falling to the Bears for the first time since 2020 by a score of 12-10.
The Bears had the ball for over nine minutes on their opening drive but saw a 48-yard field goal attempt by Cairo Santos go wide to the right to leave the game scoreless. The Vikings’ offense then went three-and-out, and after another long drive the Bears got the first points of the night on a 25-yard Santos field goal to make it 3-0 early in the second quarter.
The Vikings saw Josh Dobbs get intercepted by Jaylon Johnson on their second possession, yet another turnover for an offense that’s been plagued by them for most of the season. Dobbs had another interception midway through the second quarter, as one of his throws went off of Jordan Addison’s hands and into the hands of Jaquan Brisker for another turnover.
Minnesota did finally manage to dent the scoreboard on the final play of the first half, as the offense actually got into position for a 34-yard field goal from Greg Joseph to make it 3-3 heading into the locker room. It was an incredibly ugly first half from Minnesota, but they managed to find themselves tied at the break.
The Vikings rolled the dice on the first drive of the second half but turned it over on downs when a pass from Dobbs to T.J. Hockenson on fourth down was ruled short of the line to gain. The Bears turned that into yet another field goal, as Santos was good from 39 yards to make it 6-3 with seven minutes left in the third quarter.
Minnesota faced another fourth down in Chicago territory on the next possession, and the result was another turnover as Dobbs’ pass for K.J. Osborn was picked off by Tremaine Edmunds to stop another Minnesota drive. Santos then added to the Bears’ lead early in the fourth quarter with a 55-yarder to make it 9-3, and with the way the Vikings’ offense looked to that point that seemed insurmountable.
Dobbs threw his fourth interception of the night on the next drive, as it bounced off of the hands of one Chicago defender and into the hands of cornerback Kyler Gordon for another Minnesota turnover. But, the Vikings finally responded with a turnover of their own, as Fields had the ball stripped away by a Vikings defender and it was recovered by Sheldon Day to keep the Vikings in the contest.
The Vikings then. . .finally. . .put the ball into the end zone for a touchdown on a pass from Dobbs to Hockenson, a 17-yarder that put the Vikings ahead 10-9 with just under six minutes to play.
On the Bears’ next possession, Fields took off on a scramble on third down and was hit hard by Josh Metellus, causing a fumble. Anthony Barr. . .yes, Anthony Barr. . .recovered the fumble and the Vikings took over in Chicago territory.
Minnesota’s offense proceeded to go three-and-out on the ensuing drive, with Ryan Wright’s punt putting the Bears at their own 22-yard line with just over two minutes remaining. The Vikings’ defense looked like it was poised to get a stop, but Fields then found D.J. Moore for a big 36-yard gain into Minnesota territory. That was all the Bears needed for Santos, who hit his fourth kick of the night, a 29-yarder to make it 12-10 with ten seconds remaining.
That was all she wrote for the Vikings, who fall to 6-6 on the season and now have a bunch of teams breathing down their necks in the NFC playoff race, losing two in a row after their five-game winning streak.
The Vikings literally hand one to the Bears on Monday Night Football, losing by a score of 12-10. Thanks to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!