Well Bears fans, week four has come and gone with every team in the NFC North losing. That is, except for our Chicago Bears! This dominant defensive performance sparked what is hopefully a season-turning point for this young team, especially considering Akiem Hicks and Roquan Smith were both sidelined with injuries. This win puts the Bears at 3-1 this season, tied with Green Bay for the lead in the division. Green Bay holds the tiebreaker with the week one win against Chicago and has a tough matchup against the Dallas Cowboys next week. With the very winnable game against the Raiders next week, the Bears could easily find themselves at the top of the NFC North by next Sunday night.
The first half of this game was a pretty overwhelming performance from both the offense and defense for the Bears. Mitchell Trubisky went down early with a shoulder injury and would not return for the rest of the game. So, in comes Chase Daniel. Chase led the Bears on a drive that ended with a ten-yard throw to Tarik Cohen for a touchdown!
The Vikings and Bears traded field position throughout the rest of the half, the Vikings could not get much going against this Bears defense and Chase Daniel looked like a fresh veteran leading the pack.
Chase hit Allen Robinson for a big seven or eight yards and a really nice catch from Robinson too. He also had very clutch throws to Trey Burton, Anthony Miller and Cohen as well.
The end of the first half ended with an impressive drive from the Bears offense and one very strange almost-call of punting on the 34-yard line, which turned into a fourth and three conversion throw to Miller. The final play was a 25-yard field goal from Eddy Piniero.
Bears lead 10-0.
The Vikings received the ball to begin the third quarter and on their very first offensive play, Khalil Mack stripped the ball right from Kirk Cousins and Chicago recovered!
The Bears took over the ball inside Minnesota territory and although they couldn’t get anything going offensively, they still walked away with a 38-yard field goal.
Bears lead 13-0.
Much of the rest of this quarter was the same story. The Bears defense was prodigious; not allowing the Vikings offense to do anything at all. Another Piniero field goal increased the Bears’ lead to 16-0.
Now the fourth quarter was a little different story and I feel like I’m starting to sound like a broken record week-after-week here. The defense looked gassed yet again in the fourth quarter! They could not keep up with the Vikings offense when they ran the no-huddle offensive scheme. They let Minnesota drive all the way down-field and Dalvin Cook score from two yards out.
I don’t like this, again, for what seems like the thousandth time. This is how teams can figure out the way to beat the Bears. If they cannot keep up with the no-huddle offense, then how will they stop a team like Kansas City? They have a head coach in Andy Reid who will see the film from a drive like this one and exploit that particular weakness. I’d really like to see the Bears work on their late-game cardio and not take their foot off the gas anymore.
After the Cook touchdown, the Vikings went for the two-point conversion and failed. Bears lead 16-6. They killed the clock with some running plays and let Minnesota have one more chance on the offensive side of the ball. A smothering defense stopped Minnesota from accomplishing anything and the Bears won with a final score of 16-6!
Kirk Cousins threw 27/36 for 233 yards and the Vikings stud running back Dalvin Cook was limited to 14 rushing attempts for 35 yards and the one touchdown. Stefon Diggs led the Vikings in receiving with seven catches for 108 yards and surprisingly Adam Thielen was held to only two catches that went for six yards. The Bears defense most definitely did their job today.
Chase Daniel had himself a day throwing 22/30 for 195 yards and one touchdown. We got to see David Montgomery take 21 hand-offs but they only went for a measly 53 yards. This wasn’t that great, but at least Matt Nagy is getting Montgomery more involved now. It wasn’t too surprising going up against this Vikings defense though. Allen Robinson led the Bears offense in receiving seven balls for 77 yards. The offense wasn’t amazing in this game but considering the defense they faced, I’ll mark this one down as solid progress.
Now the question becomes: how injured is Trubisky? We saw him in a sling on the sidelines and thankfully it wasn’t his throwing shoulder like last season against the Vikings. So what do they do now? I think it’s pretty obvious that Daniel will start next week in London against the Raiders. Why rush Trubisky back? How bad is Taylor Gabriel hurt as well? His huge game last week against the Redskins was very impactful and he will definitely be missed if he misses significant time.
Also, how bad are the injuries to Smith and Hicks? Will they be back for this trip to London? I certainly hope so but I think we can take solace in how dominant the defense was without these two guys.
The Bears are now 3-1 on the season and face off against a struggling Raiders team in London next Sunday. Set your alarms Bears fans, this game’s going to be an early one.
Featured Photo: Dylan Buell/Getty Images
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