It wasn’t pretty. Hell, at moments it was downright awful. But when the dust settled on Monday Night Football at Soldier Field, the Minnesota Vikings walked away victorious over the Chicago Bears. That’s not something we’ve been able to say over the last two decades.
In more good news, no prominent Vikings players exited the game with a major injury, there isn’t a coach who is expected to lose their job this week and all healthy players are expected to attend practice. What a weird trip to Chicago…
Bears rush defense was even better than advertised.
I can see how the Chicago Bears came into this game with more wins than losses. Their defense, especially vs the run, is even better than was even advertised coming into this game. They bottled up a healthy Dalvin Cook like I haven’t seen any team do this season, holding him to just 96 yards and ZERO touchdowns on 30 carries. That’s a 3.2 yard per carry average, Cook’s worst of 2020.
The Vikings were able to establish the run a little bit in the 4th quarter, when defensive tackle Akiem Hicks left the game with an injury. Before that, there was absolutely nothing available on the ground.
Bears offense just as bad as advertised
I wrote about it on Monday morning. The Chicago Bears offense is absolutely dreadful. Whether it’s been Nick Foles or Mitch Trubisky, the offense has been a disastrous detriment to the great defensive effort this club brings week in and week out.
On Monday night, the Bears offense posted their worst game of the season though. They totalled 149 yards of offense and finally surpassed 100 yards passing (103 total) when the Vikings went into a full prevent defense during the last drive drive of the game. They rushed for 41 yards.
Gary Kubiak and his personnel
I was very impressed with how easily Gary Kubiak integrated 3 WR’s into a system that had been 2 TE heavy all season. Irv Smith Jr wasn’t able to go because of an injury so Kubiak swapped him out with Chad Beebe for most of his passing formations.
I’ve criticized Kubiak for not being flexible enough with his offense so I’m happy to see the Vikings smoothly make that personnel transition today.
Kirk Cousins was Awesome
Say what you want about Kirk Cousins but, in the last three games, he’s been exactly what the Vikings have needed him to be. Tonight, they needed him more than vs Green Bay and Detroit… so he rose to the occasion.
But, he didn’t overdo it. He finished with a solid and efficient 26/34 for 292 yards, 2 TDs and 1 INT (that wasn’t his fault). Modesty was important tonight because the offense on the other side of the field was so terrible. Mistakes just weren’t worth the risk.
Still, Kirk stepped up and made some big plays when called upon. These two 3rd down throws stand out and couldn’t have been more big time.
The Minnesota Vikings are now 4-5 and within sniffing distance of a .500 record. As we’ve already discussed in-depth, the Vikings’ schedule is probably the softest in the league over the next three games (Cowboys, Panthers, Jaguars).
That doesn’t mean we should breathe easy. As Vikings fans, we know better.
Eric Strack | Minnesota Sports Fan