The Minnesota Vikings pulled out a narrow 20-17 victory over the Chicago Bears. What did we learn from the Week 5 showdown?
The Minnesota Vikings marched into Soldier Field with starting quarterback Sam Bradford back in the fold. A week after losing Dalvin Cook for the year, the return of Bradford was the spark the Vikings needed following the devastating blow Minnesota received in the loss to the Detroit Lions.
Well, it was suppose to be for the Minnesota Vikings.
With 25 seconds to go in the first half, backup Case Keenum replaced Bradford at quarterback. Throughout the first half, Bradford didn’t look ready to return from a mysterious knee injury that had sidelined him for three weeks. In fact, he took four sacks, a couple where he gave himself up without being touched by a Bears defender. Another where he held onto the ball far too long in the end zone resulting in a safety.
Bradford finished the first half going 5-for-11 for 36 yards, only leading Minnesota to one scoring drive set up by an Everson Griffen strip sack. Nevertheless, the biggest concern is when the Vikings starting quarterback is able to get back on the field again.
Luckily, Minnesota picked up Keenum in free agency because the fifth-year quarterback turned the fortunes of the offense around. He finished 17-for-21 for 140 yards and a touchdown, a nice 13-yard strike to Kyle Rudolph at the start of the second half.
Yet, his most impressive play of the game was on Jerick McKinnon‘s 58-yard rushing touchdown, giving the Vikings a 17-9 lead after the Bears scored on a fake punt. On the play, Keenum rushed the offense up to the line, confusing a Chicago defense thin at middle linebacker. The Bears weren’t able to adjust and the result saw McKinnon burst through a wide hole on a sweep play.
The Bears responded with a Zach Miller 20-yard touchdown from rookie Mitch Trubisky, although there was a bit of luck as it bounced off the hands of safety Andrew Sendejo right into Miller’s arms. Going for the two-point conversion, Chicago tied up the game on a nifty play that’s worth a look.
Even so, the Bears couldn’t complete the comeback even though they got the ball with 2:32 remaining. On the first play, Pro Bowl safety Harrison Smith read a Trubisky pass on a rollout beautifully resulting in an interception at the Chicago 28.
From there, Keenum and the Minnesota offense ran the clock down to 16 seconds, ending with a Kai Forbath 26-yard field goal and Vikings 20-17 victory.
Minnesota goes to 3-2 on the year, but what did we learn about the Vikings in a win over the Bears? Let’s find out.