The Chicago Bears had ample opportunities in the red zone to get back into Monday night's game against the Minnesota Vikings, but they struggled badly in that department in a 17-9 loss.
The loss drops Chicago to 4-10 on the season, and once again intensified calls for the ouster of head coach Matt Nagy. The loss also officially eliminates the Bears from playoff contention.
Justin Fields threw for 285 yards and a last-second touchdown, but struggled to hold onto the football as he lost a fumble and was sacked three times in the loss.
Despite being held to 87 yards passing, Kirk Cousins still led the team to a pair of touchdowns in the victory. Dalvin Cook rushed for 89 yards, and Justin Jefferson hauled in four passes for 47 yards and a touchdown.
After trading unsuccessful drives to start the game, the Vikings were able to get on the board first, with an eight-play, 54-yard touchdown drive. After several big plays by Dalvin Cook and Justin Jefferson got the Vikings into the red zone, Jefferson finished things off with a 12-yard touchdown catch, giving Minnesota the 7-0 edge with five minutes to go in the first quarter.
On the next Bears’ drive, Fields had the ball stripped away from him by Antony Barr, and the Vikings quickly went back to work, getting back into Bears’ territory. They were stopped on third down after an Akiem Hicks sack, but the Vikings still got a field goal to move their advantage to 10-0 early in the second quarter.
After another Bears’ fumble, this time by David Montgomery, Chicago was finally able to get their offense moving late in the second quarter, but once again had to settle for a 34-yard field goal to make it a 10-3 game with 1:33 to go in the half.
The Bears had a great chance to get another score late in the half after a Deon Bush interception, but they once again had to settle for a field goal attempt in the closing seconds. That attempt was blocked, giving the Vikings a seven-point edge at halftime.
Trading unsuccessful drives, the Bears and Vikings didn’t get off to a great start in the third quarter, but Minnesota was finally able to extend their lead, with Cousins finding Ihmir Smith-Marsette for a seven-yard touchdown to make it a 17-3 game with six minutes to go in the frame.
A blocked punt late in the third quarter gave the Bears tremendous field position, but once again their discipline failed them, as Fields was sacked on fourth down at the 23-yard line to give Minnesota back the ball.
The Bears had yet another golden opportunity to score a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, but they once again failed to capitalize near the goal line. Jimmy Graham dropped a touchdown catch on third down, and Darnell Mooney was unable to get a second foot down on a catch on fourth down, turning the ball over on downs.
The Bears did get a last-second touchdown from Jesper Horsted to make it a 17-9 game, but didn't kick an extra point and allowed the game to end.
Next Sunday the Bears will travel to Seattle for a contest against the Seahawks.