Dalvin Cook rushed for 89 yards on 28 carries and Kirk Cousins tossed two touchdowns as the Minnesota Vikings picked up a 17-9 victory on the road over the Chicago Bears on Monday night.
In a game that was far from an offensive clinic for either team, the Vikings did just enough and made fewer mistakes.
The Bears fumbled four times with three being recovered by Minnesota. Justin Fields, Damiere Byrd and David Montgomery all lost fumbled for the Bears while Fields had a second fumble that he managed to recover to maintain possession.
Justin Jefferson gave the Vikings the lead on a 12-yard pass from Cousins on Minnesota’s second drive of the night. Fields’ lost fumble led to more points as Greg Joseph converted a 37-yard field goal to make it a 10-0 game.
The Bears survived Montgomery’s lost fumble without allowing points and Cairo Santos got the Bears on the board with a 34-yard field goal to make it 10-3 late in the second quarter.
Minnesota marched 77 yards in 12 plays with the help of 20 yards in penalties from the Bears as Ihmir Smith-Marsette caught a 7-yard touchdown, the first of his career, to extend the Vikings lead to 17-3.
Cousins threw for just 87 yards on the night, completing 12-of-24 passes with the two scores and a an interception.
The Vikings went three-and-out on four consecutive drives in the second half and managed just 193 yards of total offense on the night to continually give Chicago chances to get back in the game. However, they were unable to do so.
The Bears turned it over on downs on three straight fourth quarter drives with all three possessions ending deep in Minnesota territory.
Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks was ejected after hitting a sliding Fields in the head midway through the fourth quarter.
Fields scrambled for a first down and slid in an upright position. Kendricks hit Fields helmet-to-helmet and led to his disqualification from the rest of the game for the personal foul.
The penalty gave the Bears a first-and-goal at the Minnesota 7-yard line. However, tight end Jimmy Graham was unable to secure a third down pass in the end zone and wide receiver Darnell Mooney was unable to catch a fourth down pass and stay in bounds to keep the Bears off the board.
Byrd dropped a pass that would have resulted in a fourth down conversion on Chicago’s next possession.
A last-second 19-yard touchdown pass from Fields to Jesper Horsted closed the final deficit to 17-9. The extra point was not attempted because it didn’t matter to the result of the game.
Fields finished the night with 285 yards and a touchdown on 26-of-39 passing. Montgomery led the way on the ground with 60 yards on 18 carries. Cole Kmet had six catches for 71 yards.
The Bears were officially eliminated from playoff contention with the loss.