The Minnesota Vikings had some opportunities to beat the Chicago Bears in Week 17, but the backups for the purple and gold came up a little short.
The Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears played a game in Week 17, but it definitely didn’t have the feel of any of the other contests this season. With the purple and gold locked into the sixth seed and the team from the windy city closing out their season, this game lacked any punch fans were hoping it would have before the start of the season.
However, Vikings fans are devoted. Even with many of the starters sitting this game out and no real impact for a win or a loss, fans watched and hoped to see a great performance from the team’s backups against an NFC North opponent.
The game didn’t start out to be very exciting. Aside from a 59-yard run from Mike Boone on the team’s first drive, Minnesota struggled to move the ball with Sean Mannion at the helm and Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs, and Kyle Rudolph on the sideline. Early turnovers hurt as well, with Chicago nailing two field goals in the first quarter to give them a 0-6 lead after one quarter.
Minnesota outscored the Bears in the second quarter. Chicago was able to get a safety after they pinned the Vikings at the 1-yard line on a punt. Add in some more field goals from both teams, and the halftime score was 6-11 with the Vikings trailing.
The third quarter was all Chicago. Thanks to a drive featuring the hard running of David Montgomery, they scored the first touchdown of the game and connected on the extra point, giving the Bears a 6-18 lead. However, Minnesota would put together a drive of their own to land on the goal line as the quarter came to a close.
After the break, Mike Boone ran the ball up the gut twice, finding the end zone on his second attempt. After the Dan Bailey extra point, Minnesota closed the Chicago lead to 13-18.
Adding another field goal to make it 16-18, Minnesota continued to put pressure on the Bears by forcing a Mitchell Trubisky fumble. It was recovered by Ifeadi Odenigbo and returned to the end zone, but the score was called back because of contact while his knee was on the turf picking the ball up. That meant Mannion and the Vikings offense would get to work.
Sadly, Minnesota couldn’t convert on that opportunity and Dan Bailey came on the field again to attempt a 34-yard field goal. After booting it through, the Vikings had their first lead of the game at 19-18 with 4:53 left on the clock.
The Minnesota Vikings defense couldn’t stop the Bears though. Chicago drove down the field eating the clock with strong running from David Montgomery and a big fourth-down conversion pass from Trubisky, finishing the drive with a short field goal to give them a 19-21 lead with only ten seconds left.
Following the kickoff return, Sean Mannion had one more opportunity with six seconds on the clock. The hail mary pass landed in the hands of a Chicago defender, ending the game.
The Minnesota Vikings may have lost 19-21, but Mike Boone’s 148 rushing yards with one score and some nice plays from the defense give remind fans that the purple and gold have some depth in case of emergency.