The Bears were hoping to pull an upset over the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium Sunday afternoon. Chicago recovered from a horrible start to make it a real game however the home team was able to pull out the late victory.
Minnesota came out of the starting gate on fire as quarterback Kirk Cousins completed his first 17 passes, mostly to star receiver Justin Jefferson. Dalvin Cook ran for a touchdown on the opening drive to put the home team up 7-0.
The Bears took advantage of a Vikings pass interference penalty to kick a field goal on their initial series. Cousins continued his aerial assault and Cook scored his second touchdown for a 14-3 lead.
Jalen Reagor made it three consecutive touchdowns to open the game for the Vikings with his score in the second quarter. Then something very unlikely happened, Darnell Mooney made an incredible one-handed catch on a deep throw late in the half. David Montgomery, back from injury, finished off the scoring drive and Chicago was down 21-10 at the break.
Justin Fields looked like a completely different quarterback in the second half. The Bears moved right down the field and Velus Jones Jr. went in for his first career TD. The defense stiffened and kept the Vikings down for most of the half.
A blocked field goal and the first career interception for Kindle Vildor led to a pair of field goals for Cairo Santos that put Chicago up 22-21. Unfortunately, the Vikings had one more big drive in them, draining the clock and scoring the go-ahead touchdown with just over two minutes left in the game.
The Bears young quarterback who was having by far his best game of the season once again led his team down the field. He completed a pass to little used wide receiver Ihmir Smith-Marsette deep in Minnesota territory. Smith-Marsette did not go down on the initial tackle and while fighting for extra yards was stripped by Cameron Dantzler to seal the 29-22 Vikings victory. (Box score)
Why the Bears Lost
They got themselves in such a deep hole a valiant comeback effort fell just short.
Smith-Marsette had not caught a pass all season long before his fumble on Sunday. It is just another example of the lack of depth they have at the receiver position.
Stats That Matter
- Fields looked as good as he has all season in the second half, overall he threw for 208 yards and two touchdowns while running for 47 more.
- Montgomery was actually more effective as a wide receiver with 62 yards in the air and 20 on the ground.
- Mooney had just one other catch in addition to his amazing grab.
This game appeared to be a disaster for the Bears through 20 minutes but they did not give up and did a very good job staying in the contest. Justin Fields found some confidence and even had an incredible touchdown run that was canceled out on a very questionable penalty in the second half. If the offense can build on this performance they will have a chance to win some games down the stretch.
Chicago returns home to face the Washington Commanders Thursday, October 13 at 7:20pm CT streaming exclusively on Amazon Prime.