The Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears entered today’s game with a first place tie on the line for the visiting team.
Right now Minnesota is planning on playing spoiler’s for whoever has a playoff spot on the line. Last week in Green Bay, the Vikings took the Aaron Rodgers-less Packers into overtime but failed to walk away with a win. I mean, they didn’t walk away with a loss so I guess that’s a plus, right?
The Chicago Bears were hoping to stay stride for stride with the Detroit Lions who absolutely destroyed the Green Bay Packers on Thanksgiving.
This game started off slow as Chicago managed to put the only points on the board in the first quarter with a Robbie Gould 30 yard field goal. Things started to pick up in the second quarter as Minnesota kept rookie wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson in the backfield. Patterson took the hand off, broke a couple tackles after reaching the secondary of the defense and ran it in for a 33 yard rush.
Robbie Gould brought Chicago within one later on in the quarter with a 40 yard field goal. Gould needed one more successful field goal in order to tie him with Mike Vanderjagt as the most accurate kicker in NFL history. We’ll get back to Robbie later in the article.
Chicago got the ball to start off the second half and came out swinging. Second year wide receiver Alshon Jeffery had a career day today as he brought in a huge 80 yard touchdown reception from Bears quarterback Josh McCown. Jeffery broke free from two defensive backs to put Chicago out in front.
After a Blair Walsh field goal, the score was 13-10 until McCown found Jeffery once again. This time around, Jeffery made a catch that could qualify for ‘Catch of the Year’. Jeffery caught the ball behind the defender, held the ball above his helmet (almost David Tyree like) and managed to get his feet in bounds while maintaining control. After the play, corner back Chris Cook was ejected because of some contact with a referee. Expect him to be fined or suspended, possibly both.
Matt Cassel (who replaced Ponder after he left with a concussion) and Adrian Peterson refused to give up after being down by 10 points late in the game. Both guys were able to make big plays when needed, putting the rest of the team on their backs. Peterson rushed for over 200 yards but didn’t get into the end zone. I’m sure he’s happy either way because of how things ended.
Cassel stepped in and showed Minnesota that he could be the man who leads this team. Cassel hit former Green Bay Packers veteran wide receiver Greg Jennings in the corner of the end zone to make it 20-17. On the next drive, Bears quarterback Josh McCown fumbled the ball which was picked up by an offensive lineman who then fumbled himself. Minnesota recovered deep in Chicago territory but were unable to put points on the board due to an interception by rookie Khaseem Greene.
Despite the interception, the Bears were unable to do anything with the turnover themselves. It was a huge play that they desperately needed, but once again they shot themselves in the foot.
Minnesota came up big in the last few minutes of the fourth quarter, one time facing fourth down and 11 on their own 10 yard line. They were able to move the chains and eventually drive down field for a game tying field goal.
Devin Hester nearly returned the kick off after the field goal but was stopped somewhere around mid field. Chicago was unable to get anything done so they brought in Robbie Gould to see if he could win it from 65 yards out. Minnesota lined up Cordarrelle Patterson in the end zone in hopes of having their very own Alabama-Auburn turn out. Luckily for Chicago, it didn’t turn out that way.
For the second week in a row, the Vikings were heading into overtime. Chicago’s defense looked beat up and tired, but the offense felt confident enough to get the win because of how well they played during the second half.
After failing to do anything on the opening drive of overtime, offensive tackle Jermon Bushrod was flagged for tossing the football down field after McCown was sacked and fumbled. The refs tagged him with a ‘Delay of Game’ penalty which tacked on five more yards. Minnesota continued to feed Peterson the ball eventually setting themselves up for a game winning field goal.
The Vikings were set up with decent field position and went for the win on third down. Blair Walsh split the uprights, but a flag on the play knocked them back 15 yards.
Rhett Ellison was tagged for a 15 yard personal foul call after grabbing the face mask of a Chicago Bears defender on the field goal attempt. Minnesota tried to pick up more yardage but didn’t get much. Walsh came back into the game hoping to end it but ended up missing wide left.
Chicago’s turn. Forte picked things up and helped lead the Bears down field. Forte was over 100 yards on the day just like Peterson. Gould was brought in but missed a little to the right which gave Minnesota the ball back.
As we all expected, Minnesota continued to feed the ball to Adrian Peterson after chewing up some yardage through the air. Chicago’s secondary struggled along with the rushing defense.
The Vikings picked up enough yardage which allowed them to kick a game winning 34 yard field goal to upset the Chicago Bears.
Josh McCown – 23 for 36, 355 passing yards and two touchdowns
Matt Cassel – 20 for 33 , 243 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception
Adrian Peterson – 35 carries for 211 rushing yards
Matt Forte – 23 carries for 120 rushing yards
Alshon Jeffery – 12 receptions for 249 receiving yards and two touchdowns
Greg Jennings – seven receptions for 78 receiving yards and one touchdown
Next up the Chicago Bears (6-6) will host the Dallas Cowboys on Monday Night Football while the Minnesota Vikings travel to Baltimore to take on the Super Bowl champions.