• T.J. Hockenson scores the game’s only touchdown: Hockenson’s role has been reduced over the last three weeks, but he still found the end zone in Week 12.
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- D’Onta Foreman was inactive with ankle and shin injuries, leaving the Bears with the two-man backfield they used early in the season.
- Herbert was the main player in most situations over the first five weeks, but Johnson took a higher percentage of third-down snaps. Since then, Johnson has established himself as the Bears' receiving back.
- The Vikings had allowed the seventh-fewest rushing yards and the fourth-fewest rushing yards per attempt, so Chicago’s game plan seemed to be to abandon the run game altogether.
- This meant Johnson played far more than Herbert. In most games, Johnson hasn’t been much of a factor in the passing game, but his 40 receiving yards tonight marked a career-high.
- It’s possible Johnson’s usage in this game was specific to this game plan, but it’s also possible that Herbert isn’t 100% and Johnson is ahead of him on the depth chart.
- Considering how much Johnson ran the ball in the second half, there is a chance Johnson is simply ahead of Herbert on early downs at this point of the season.
- Foreman was a limited participant in practice by the end of the week, and Chicago has a bye week next week. The chances are Foreman will be ready for Week 14 and that this will be a three-man rotation again.
- After the bye week, Chicago faces the Detroit Lions, Cleveland Browns, Arizona Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons. Three of those four teams have been great against running backs this season.
- This means Johnson might not have much fantasy value despite the good game. Still, it was at least a good sign for 2024.
Tyler Scott’s role is reduced: The fourth-round rookie spent a lot of the season as either the Bears’ third wide receiver or a rotational player.
- Chase Claypool started the season as the Bears' third receiver, and after his departure, Equanimeous St. Brown took the job. During this time, Scott played between 10 and 15 offensive snaps a game.
- St. Brown landed on injured reserve after Week 5, allowing Scott to take over as the third receiver.
- St. Brown regained the WR3 job when he returned in Week 10, but Chicago still wanted Scott to be heavily involved. He rotated with St. Brown and also took playing time from Darnell Mooney. Mooney played between 60% and 70% of snaps in Weeks 10 and 11 after playing between 75% and 90% in most previous games.
- Scott lost a fumble last week, which may have impacted his reduced role in Week 12. He became a clear fourth receiver tonight, allowing both Mooney and St. Brown to get the playing time they got earlier in the season.
- This basically had no impact on the game. Mooney caught two passes for 6 yards, while St. Brown and Scott weren’t targeted.
- Minnesota’s running back usage has been inconsistent all season, and that continued this week.
- There were parts of the game where they seemed to rotate by drive and other points where both running backs got playing time.
- Chandler ended up with more snaps in the first half largely because he played eight consecutive offensive snaps in the second quarter.
- Mattison broke a few longer runs in the third quarter, which seemed to earn him more time during the second half.
- Mattison’s per-play numbers were particularly impressive, considering the Bears had allowed the fewest yards per carry to runners this season (3.4).
- Both players will likely continue to see significant time until one player far outperforms the other.
Monitor T.J. Hockenson’s health: Hockenson has been limited in practice for the last three weeks due to a rib injury.
- Hockenson has played in all three games, but his playing time has been impacted.
- He almost never plays in 21 personnel, and that has continued.
- He played 91% of 11 personnel snaps and 98% of 12 personnel snaps over the first nine weeks. Those marks have fallen to around 84% and 48% in the last three games, with those rates staying relatively consistent through the three weeks.
- The decrease in snaps and routes didn’t hurt him much in his last two games. He was held without a catch in the first half, but his fantasy value was redeemed late in the game when he scored a touchdown.
- Hopefully, Hockenson will have an opportunity to heal during their bye week and be back to his usual self in Week 14.
- Cole Kmet caught seven passes for the fifth time in his career. He accomplished this once as a rookie, once in 2021, never in 2022 and three times this season.
- The Bears ran 11 screen passes, tied for fourth-most by a team in a game this season.
- Justin Jefferson was limited in practice all week with his hamstring injury. Minnesota has their bye week next week, and we can expect his return after that. When he’s back, Brandon Powell will see a significant reduction in offensive snaps. K.J. Osborn joined Jefferson in two-receiver sets earlier in the season, but Addison may have earned that job over the last several weeks.
• Snaps include plays called back due to penalties, including offensive holding or defensive pass interference. The other three stats have these plays removed.
• Targets may differ from official NFL sources. The most likely discrepancy would be from a clear thrown-away pass, where the NFL may give the target to the nearest receiver, while this data will not.
• Carries are only on designed plays. Quarterback scrambles won’t count for the total number of carries in the game.