CHICAGO BEARS: 3 BIG TAKEAWAYS FROM 19-13 LOSS TO VIKINGS
CHICAGO BEARS: 3 BIG TAKEAWAYS FROM 19-13 LOSS TO VIKINGS – Greetings Bears fans. The good news is your team ended a 14-game losing streak with a win over the Washington Commanders in Week 5.
But with a chance to string together consecutive wins in nearly two years, the Bears fell short, losing to the Minnesota Vikings 19-13. Not only that, but Justin Fields left the game in the third quarter with a thumb injury as well (more on that in a bit).
Here are the biggest takeaways from Chicago’s most recent setback.
The Bears’ Ground Game Continues To Thrive
One of my biggest concerns coming into this divisional showdown against the Vikings was the fact that the Bears were down three guys on the running back depth chart. The fact that Khalil Herbert wasn’t able to suit up was bad enough.
However, Roschon Johnson and Travis Homer were ruled out as well. That said, it would be reasonable to presume that the Bears might not have the same level of success with the ground game as they did against the Denver Broncos and the Washington Commanders.
Much to my surprise — and probably everyone else’s — Chicago’s ground game remained intact. D’Onta Foreman ran for 65 yards on 15 carries. Darrynton Evans rushed for 32 yards on nine carries.
Overall, Chicago churned out 162 yards on the ground on 36 carries – an average of 4.5 yards per carry. In a matchup in which the run game could have gone by the wayside, Chicago’s ability to effectively run the ball was one of the few positives in a game filled with its fair share of lowlights.
Bears’ Defense Produces Its Best Performance Of The Season
Just like the Bears, the Vikings were without the services of one of its key offensive players — Justin Jefferson. Jefferson led the team with 36 receptions totaling 567 yards and three touchdowns. At the same token, could the Bears capitalize given the fact they were allowing 384.2 yards per contest – the fourth-most yards in the NFL?
They certainly did. In fact, the Bears’ defense held the Vikings to 220 total yards. This was Minnesota’s lowest output of the season.
Another noteworthy stat from this game was the Bears held their own on third-down situations as well. Coming into this contest, they were ranked last, allowing their opponents to convert 50.6 percent of their third downs.
However, against an inspired defense, the Vikings managed to convert just two of their 13 third downs. Unfortunately, as well as the defense played, it was not quite enough to help the home team get a victory.
Which leads to my final takeaway.
Bears’ Offense Regresses, Justin Fields Exits Game With A Thumb Injury
No one would blame you if you got a little spoiled watching how well the Bears’ offense played over the past two weeks. The unit played so well that Chicago moved from 29th to 14th.
There is an adage that goes “All good things must come to an end”, and boy did they ever. After watching Chicago rack up over 400 total yards against Denver and Washington, the home crowd was expecting more of the same against another one-win team. Especially since that lone victory came against a winless Carolina Panthers squad.
Unfortunately, that did not happen. Not even close. Chicago’s offense gave up five sacks while committing three turnovers. This marked the first time that Minnesota won the turnover battle against one of its opponents.
In addition to Chicago’s aerial game being ineffective, Justin Fields exited the game in the third quarter with a thumb injury. While Fields’s injury is unfortunate, the offense was already having a subpar afternoon at best. Fields completed six of his 10 pass attempts totaling 58 yards (including one interception), and he was sacked four times.
Charles Rex Arbogast/AP
With Fields’ early departure, Chicago’s undrafted rookie quarterback, Tyson Bagent, saw his first action of the season. As one would expect, the results were a mixed bag.
Bears’ Undrafted Rookie Gets Thrown Into Action
On the third play of his NFL career, Bagent was strip-sacked by Vikings’ safety Josh Metellus. Minnesota’s linebacker, Jordan Hicks, recovered the ball and ran 46 yards for a touchdown, extending the Vikings lead to 19-6.
Bagent did redeem himself as he led the team on a nine-play, 77-yard touchdown drive that he capped off with a quarterback sneak, which trimmed the deficit to 19-13. The defense held its own and provided the rookie quarterback with a chance to potentially win the game.
But it wasn’t meant to be. Bagent attempted to connect with DJ Moore, but the pass was intercepted. This costly turnover sealed the game for the road team. It was Chicago’s 10th straight loss at home. Fields status remains doubtful for the upcoming game against the Raiders. And no timetable was provided as to when he may return.
Given the injury to Justin Fields, and the team’s unimpressive 1-5 record, it may be time to start looking ahead to next season.