Chicago Bears Score and Recap (Week 15): Vikings 17, Bears 9 – Bears Quality Defensive Performance Squandered by Red Zone Failures
The Bears were hoping to pull off a holiday upset against the Vikings on Monday Night Football. Chicago’s defense showed up in a big way, but, offensive issues again came back to haunt them. Minnesota was able to survive with a win.
The Vikings got on the board first on an opening quarter touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Justin Jefferson. The Bears were able to move the ball on offense, the problem however, was more turnovers. Justin Fields and David Montgomery fumbled on consecutive drives allowing Minnesota to maintain a 10-0 advantage.
Chicago picked up their only meaningful score of the game on a field goal late in the first half. A series of questionable penalty calls kept a Vikings drive alive in the third quarter, eventually leading to another Cousins touchdown pass.
The Bears defense kept the Vikings at bay for the rest of the game giving their offense room for a comeback. Fields led numerous promising drives that all fizzled when they reached the red zone. Chicago turned the ball over on downs three times during the second half in a frustrating performance.
Ironically, the Bears were able to score on the final play of the game with the contest already decided. Clearly, Chicago gave up a golden opportunity for a win. (Box score)
Why the Bears Lost
On a 3rd and 18 in the third quarter the Bears tackled Dalvin Cook for a 5-yard gain. Teez Tabor, who made the tackle, was called for an illegal block below the waist for his low tackle on Cook. Minnesota would go on to score on the penalty-extended drive and win by eight points.
Stats That Matter
- Fields had a pretty good day passing with 285 yards and a touchdown. He will have to become more efficient in the red zone and cut back on turnovers. Still, it was a promising game for the young quarterback.
- Robert Quinn and Akiem Hicks shredded the Vikings offensive line. They each had two sacks and helped hold the road team to just under 200 total yards of offense.
- Jakeem Grant was injured with a concussion in the second quarter and did not return.
At this point it is a broken record that Matt Nagy is hurting his team. Monday was an excellent example with sloppy play and unimaginative offensive play calling near the end zone. The Bears need somebody new to give them a chance in close games such as this. They cannot get a new coach quick enough.
Covid depending, the Bears head to Seattle for a Week 16 match up with the Seahawks. The December 26 contest has a 3:05pm CT start time and airs on FOX.