This game had no business being as close as it was, but the Chicago Bears came out with a lot of emotion and their depleted defense held the Minnesota Vikings to just 17 points and 193 total yards. That was the fewest yards the Bears have given up since 2018 when they gave up just 164 yards in that season’s finale, also to the Vikings. But the Bears won that game, whereas last night they fell 17 to 9.
Chicago was just 1 for 5 in the red zone. they lost 3 of their 4 fumbles in the game, they had 9 penalties for 91 yards, and I lost track of how many drops they had. The offense shot itself in the foot time and time again, and while there were some nice moments from the players on the field, overall it was another Matt Nagy coached offensive performance one we’d all like to forget as fans.
The Bears’ offense racked up 370 yards and they had 24 first downs to Minnesota’s 13, but going just 2 for 12 on third downs and 2 for 5 of their fourth down tries stalled the offense all night long.
The Bears made also made a little history on Monday night.
Tonight the Bears:— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) December 21, 2021
-scored fewer than 10 points
-lost 3 fumbles
-turned the ball over on downs 3 times
-had 90+ penalty yards
-missed a field goal
No other NFL team since the merger has done all of those things in the same game.
Now let’s take a closer look at the playing time break downs for the Bears and also some of their individual statistical leaders.
Justin Fields played like a rookie, but he also flashed at times in a positive manner. The sacks (3) and fumbles (2) are something he needs to clean up for sure, and if these things are still happening a year form now then I’ll be worried, but rookie quarterbacks usually struggle. He ended the night going 26 of 39 for 285 yards, 1 TD, and a passer rating of 96.6, while being credited with 7 runs for 35 yards. There was some stat padding on that last drive for sure, including that last second meaningless TD pass to Jesper Horsted, but drops killed the offense last night.
David Montgomery led the Bears in rushing with 60 yards on 18 carries, and he had 5 catches for 23 yards.
Cole Kmet led the Bears in both receptions (6) and receiving yards (71).
Darnell Mooney and Damiere Byrd each caught 5 balls with Mooney racking up 63 yards and Byrd getting 62.
Rookie Teven Jenkins had 3 more penalties, but one of them I was okay with.
Roquan Smith played like a man that was pissed he was snubbed for the Pro Bowl. He had 5 tackles in the game’s first 10 minutes and he ended up with 10 on the night.
Robert Quinn had 2 more sacks, a forced fumble, 4 tackles, and a tackle for loss.
Akiem Hicks also added 2 sacks, 5 tackles, 2 TFL, and 4 QB hits.
Rookie corner Thomas Graham Jr. had 3 passes defended and 7 tackles in his debut. Deon Bush had 4 tackles and an interception.
Chicago's depleted secondary held Kirk Cousins 87 yards passing, which was his lowest ever in a game he started. The D also held Dalvin Cook in check most of the night and while he did pick up 89 rushing yards, it took him 28 carries to do it (3.2 ypc). Justin Jefferson struggled too with just 4 receptions (on 10 targets) for 47 yards, but he did get a TD.
*The above image has players that only played in the third phase.
Cairo Santos went 1 for 2 on fields goals with his miss being blocked.
Patrick O’Donnell punted 3 times for a 53.7 average, with one punt inside the 20, and a long of 72 yards.
Khalil Herbert returned 2 kickoffs for 61 yards.
Damien Williams had a deflected punt and a special teams tackle.
Dee Virgin had 3 special teams tackles in his Bears’ debut.
All statistics and snap counts are taken directly from the NFL’s Game Statistic and Information System, as are the accompanying pictures.
To check out the full Bears vs Vikings box score I find that ESPN has an easy to navigate site.