By Matthieu Pasquier — October 9, 2022 at 10:55 p.m.
Minnesota almost got caught out.
Minnesota Vikings (4-1) – Chicago Bears (2-3): 29-22
The Vikings got scared. Despite a statistically successful exit, the violets started well but stalled in the middle of the game to let Chicago come back, and it took a diligent end to the game to win the decision. Two missed kicks and an interception from Kirk Cousins almost cost the victory, reviving the Bears who knew how to put a collar in defense and capitalize on opposing errors.
Despite a well-limited running game and an always-random aerial attack, the Bears weren’t far behind. Justin Fields has again shown that he is more dangerous on the ground than on the pass but nevertheless came close to leading his men to success against the Vikings who could not capitalize on a good start to the match to bury the meeting.
Minnesota opens its playoffs with success. Immediately the key players of the purples shine. Justin Jefferson (154 yards), Adam Thielen (27 yards), Alexander Mattison (40 yards) and especially Dalvin Cook (94 yards, 2 TD on the ground / 27 yards receiving) are called upon to light up the scoreboard, the Vikings unroll and fly to the score. Three drives, three field crossings, three touchdowns. The attack stalled at the end of the half but nothing to panic about, the game seemed well in hand.
Opposite Chicago skates. Penalties, missed passes, fumble, conceded sack, the Monsters of Midway stammer and fail to establish their strength, the ground game. It takes a kick of 50 yards for them to open their counter, and from the first quarter the mines are dark on the sidelines. You have to wait for the automatic timeout to see a reaction. The defense wakes up and Darnell Mooney (52 yards) is illustrated by an acrobatic reception before David Montgomery (20 yards, 1 TD on the ground / 62 yards receiving) crosses the line. Yet the Bears do not seem able to offer convincing solutions. 21-10 at the whistle.
Bears come out of hibernation
Back from the locker room, the break seems to have done the Illinois Bears some good. Justin Fields (15/21, 208 yards, 1 TD / 47 yards running) gets out of the pressure, is able to escape and then find Velus Jones and pick up the score. Chicago even tries an on-side kick to play on its momentum, before the defense blocks a field goal and the offense converts a fourth attempt. Three points are added, and the Bears show their teeth as Minnesota treads water.
At the start of the last quarter, Kirk Cousins (32/41, 296 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) made a costly mistake by forcing a pass and throwing an interception into the hands of the opposing defense. opportunity for Chicago to return a kick and take the lead for the first time in the game. It is time to react. Cautiously, the Vikings build a long streak and eat the clock. To conclude, Cousins dives and goes himself to seek the touchdown which returns the advantage to the Vikings. The decision is made on a defensive exploit. Cameron Dantzler tears the leather from the hands of Ihmir Smith-Marsette to ensure victory for the purples. It’s been hot for the Vikings, but they retain the lead in the NFC North.
Cam Dantzler steals the ball and secures the win! @Vikings #CHIvsMIN pic.twitter.com/dQRLGW6wKW
— NFL (@NFL) October 9, 2022