With a huge game against the Vikings who trail in the division, the Bears needed a win to separate themselves. The first half went very well for the Bears. Despite an interception thrown by Mitchell Trubisky, the Bears led 14-0 at halftime. The Bears dominated, outgaining Minnesota 202 to 77. Converting 14 first downs while the Vikings only converted 4. Trubisky looked sharp and the Bears played with a sense of urgency.
In the second half, the Bears got off to a slow start going three and out on their first possession and then turning the ball over via the second interception by Trubisky. The Vikings finally got on the board towards the end of the third quarter and trailed 14-3 going into the fourth. Things got a little hairy for the Bears as they surrendered a fumble in their territory setting Minnesota up with great field position. The Vikings ultimately scored a field goal bringing the score to 14-6. An interception returned for a touchdown put distance between the Bears and the Vikings. As the game wound down, Cody Parkey sealed it down the stretch nailing a 48-yard field goal, putting the Bears up 11 points. It was a great performance by the Bears! The Vikings are a solid team and to get this win against them shows a lot of what this Bears team is made of.
Instead of listing what I liked and didn’t like from the game. I’m just going to highlight key stats that made the difference and led to the win.
Third down efficiency: 6/12
The Vikings are one of the toughest teams when it comes to converting on third down. The Bears did a good job of staying out of third and long situations. Trubisky showed poise converting on third down and keeping drives alive. This was a huge step for not only him, but the Bears offense as a whole.
Rushing yards allowed: 22
The Bears contained the Dynamic Dalvin Cook and held him to 12 yards and 22 as a team. After missing time with hamstring injuries, Cook insertion back into the lineup added a much-needed element of explosiveness to a run game that lacked big play ability. The Bears had a solid game plan. The forced a hard edge to contain runners and cleaned up on the back end.
This victory gives the Bears a 1.5 game lead in the division and they take on the Lions on Thursday night. They control their fate down the stretch and now show that they are a team that is for real!