NFL News & Analysis

NFL Week 15 Game Recap: Minnesota Vikings 17, Chicago Bears 9

Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) runs as he looks for a receiver against the Chicago Bears during the second quarter at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Jon Durr-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings kept their playoff hopes alive with a 17-9 win over the division rival Chicago Bears on Monday night. 

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The Vikings opened with a 10-0 lead and never looked back even though quarterback Kirk Cousins threw for just 87 yards on 24 attempts — the lowest single-game passing yards total of his carrer.

Bears rookie quarterback Justin Fields threw for 285 yards and added 35 on the ground but couldn’t overcome some red-zone and goal-line issues that frustrated the offense throughout the night.

The Bears travel across the country to face the Seattle Seahawks next Sunday while the Vikings have an important home game against the Los Angeles Rams.

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Minnesota Vikings

Quarterback

Cousins totaled just 3.6 yards per attempt and was sacked four times. He went 4-for-12 on passes beyond 10 yards downfield. 

Kirk Cousins by Target Depth
Target Depth Completions Attempts Yards TD:INT
Behind LOS 3 3 6 0:0
0-9 Yards 5 6 31 0:0
10-19 Yards 3 6 38 1:0
20+ Yards 1 6 12 1:1
Running Back

Dalvin Cook was given 28 of the 32 Vikings' handoffs and gained 89 yards — 66 of which came after contact. Cook also forced two missed tackles. 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Another night without Adam Thielen meant more targets for Justin Jefferson but on his 10 targets, he only hauled in four catches for 47 yards and a touchdown. Cousins only targeted the receiver position 16 total times with K.J. Osborn — three catches on three targets — and Ihmir Smith-Marsette — one catch on three targets — rounding out that position group.

Offensive Line

The offensive line was allowed eight total pressures and four sacks, but guard Mason Cole gave up five of those pressures and two of those sacks. Tackle Christian Darrisaw allowed the other two sacks.

Defensive Line

D.J. Wonnum lived in the Bears backfield, as he generated eight pressures and three sacks to go along with two run stops. Sheldon Richardson recorded two tackles for loss or no gain against the run as well.

Linebackers

Eric Kendricks was ejected late in the game for an accumulation of personal foul penalties and was targeted the most often among Vikings linebackers. He gave up three catches on five targets for 38 yards and a first down.

Secondary

Fields targeted cornerbacks Patrick Peterson and Mackensie Alexander the most often. Peterson saw seven targets and allowed four catches for 45 yards but did force an incompletion. Alexander allowed five catches on six targets for 71 yards. Each allowed three first downs.

Chicago Bears

Quarterback

Fields had a good night when kept clean but did find himself under pressure on 30% of his dropbacks.

Fields Under Pressure
Dropbacks YPA Completion %
Under Pressure  14 3.4 44.4%
Kept Clean 33 8.5 73.3%
Running Back

David Montgomery was the only listed running back who was given a handoff, as his 18 carries went for 60 yards — of which came after contact. He also forced three missed tackles but did fumble. 

Wide Receiver/Tight End

Fields trusted tight End Cole Kmet the most among Chicago's pass-catchers. He was targeted nine times and came away with six catches for 71 yards — 31 of which came after the catch. The only two receivers who were targeted more than once were Darnell Mooney — five catches on seven targets — and Damiere Byrd — five catches on six targets. 

Offensive Line

The offensive line allowed just five pressures and zero sacks. Rookie Teven Jenkins had penalty issues but allowed just one pressure. 

Defensive Line

Akiem Hicks led the team with three pressures and two sacks while Robert Quinn converted both of his pressures into sacks. 

Linebackers

Alec Ogletree finished with six tackles against the run, and all six were charted as defensive stops. He also allowed just one catch on two targets for 12 yards.

Secondary

Making his first-ever NFL appearance in the secondary, rookie Thomas Graham forced three incompletions and only allowed two catches for 10 yards. Cousins targeted cornerback Marqui Christian the most among Bears defensive back, but Christian gave up just two catches on five targets and forced an incompletion.

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