It was a strange feeling after the Chicago Bears lost that one 29 to 22 to the Minnesota Vikings. Watching my favorite team lose always sucks, but there if there’s such a thing as a good loss that was it. After playing horribly in the first half, the Bears buckled down and showed plenty of fight in the second half. Justin Fields and the offense in particular showed some strides after taking a small baby step a week ago against the Giants.
The overall numbers are still quite lopsided, but considering how inept Chicago was in the first half — on both sides of the ball — these aren’t quite as bad.
For the game, the Vikes had the edge in total yards (429 to 271), total plays (74 to 47), first downs (29 to 14), third down conversion percentage (80.0% to 40.0%), and time of possession (36:44 to 23:16).
But here’s how some of those numbers looked after the first two quarters when the Bears went into the locker room trailing 21 to 10.
The Bears battled back and made this a close game, and with a short week before they host the Washington Commanders on Thursday Night Football, they could use some positivity to take with them into that contest.
Now let's take a closer look at the playing time breakdowns for the Bears and also some individual stats.
Justin Fields has now had season-best games in consecutive weeks, with his stat line on Sunday being 15 of 21 passing for 208 yards, 1 touchdown, no interceptions, and a passer rating of 118.8. He also had 8 runs for 47 yards, and one incredible highlight run that was called back by a ridiculous penalty.
it didn't count thanks to a block in the back, but hoooooo buddddy this Justin Fields run was pic.twitter.com/G7Rn0xaeej— Christian D'Andrea (@TrainIsland) October 9, 2022
I thought this was Fields’ best game by far this season as he showed a better understanding of the pass protection, his pocket presence was solid, he made good decisions, and it appears he’s starting to feel comfortable in the offense.
Fields gaining the trust of his head coach and play caller, Matt Eberflus and Luke Getsy, should equal the Bears opening the offense up more for him early in games.
David Montgomery suited up just a couple weeks after injuring himself, and he ended up with 12 runs for 20 yards and a TD, and 4 catches for 62 yards.
Darnell Mooney had 2 receptions for 52 yards, but it was this catch that will be replayed over and over.
Cole Kmet had his best game this year with 4 catches for 45 yards.
Velus Jones Jr. had a 9-yard TD catch on a well-designed jet sweep action around the right side.
Speaking of the right side, Teven Jenkins was allowed to play the whole game at right guard with Lucas Patrick filling in at left guard for the injured Cody Whitehair.
The Bears only had 1 turnover, but it was a biggie.
Because Vikings’ QB Kirk Cousins completed 32 passes to mostly wide-open receivers, Chicago’s two rookie corners racked up a bunch of tackles.
Undrafted Jaylon Jones led the Bears with 11 tackles on defense and he added 2 tackles and a forced fumble on special teams too. Second-rounder Kyler Gordon had 10 tackles.
Nicholas Morrow had 10 tackles, Eddie Jackson had 9, and Roquan Smith has 8.
Kindle Vildor (6 tackles) picked up the first interception of his career,
Justin Jones had a tackle, Chicago’s only sack, and a pass defended.
Rookie safety Jaquan Brisker had 5 tackles, and if you missed our podcast from Friday we interviewed two of Brisker’s former head coaches; Gateway High School’s Don Holl and Lackawanna Community College’s Mark Duda. Both interviews kick off the show, so just listen up until Taylor and Dylan start to preview the Bears vs Vikings game... we already know how that turned out.
*The above image has players that only played in the third phase.
Cairo Santos returned and hit all three of his field goals and his only extra point.
Trenton Gill punted twice for a 56 yard average.
Josh Blackwell and DeAndre Houston-Carson each had 2 tackles in the third phase.
Dominique Robinson (3 tackles, 1 TFL on D) blocked a field goal.
To check out the full Bears vs Vikings box score, I find that ESPN has an easy to navigate site.
All statistics and snap counts are taken directly from the NFL's Game Statistic and Information System, as are the accompanying pictures.