The Bears were without two of their most important defensive players in Akiem Hicks and Roquan Smith today. Then they lost starting quarterback Mitchell Trubisky on the first offensive series. Against the Vikings, that didn’t matter at all.
Despite having a depleted roster, the Bears absolutely dominated the Vikings for four quarters, winning 16-6.
Chicago’s defense made a mockery of Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins. He was under relentless pressure all day and rarely found anyone open downfield. The Vikings have paid a fortune for Cousins and wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, but their offense wouldn’t look much different if they had a starting quarterback and two starting wide receivers making the league minimum salary. Only late in the fourth quarter, when trailing 16-0, did the Vikings finally start having some success throwing the ball downfield. That proved to be too little, too late.
Bears backup quarterback Chase Daniel stepped in for Trubisky and played better than Trubisky has this season, throwing a first-quarter touchdown pass to give the Bears an early lead and then playing efficient football to hold that lead.
The Bears’ defense remains one of the best in the NFL, and Daniel played well enough that the Bears should feel confident even if Trubisky misses significant time. In the wide-open NFC North, the 3-1 Bears are keeping pace.