The Minnesota Vikings overcame the Chicago Bears 19-13 in a cagey Monday night meeting in which Bears quarterback Nick Foles was carted off the field with what looked like a serious injury in the final 37 seconds.
Minnesota quarterback Kirk Cousins, meanwhile, exorcised some demons as he threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns – both to Adam Thielen – to record his first victory on Monday Night Football, at the 10th attempt.
- Vikings stats: Kirk Cousins, 25/36, 292 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT
- Rushing leader: Dalvin Cook, 30 carries, 96 yards
- Receiving leader: Justin Jefferson, eight catches, 135 yards
Chicago took the lead as Cordarrelle Patterson started the second half with a 104-yard kick-off return for a touchdown – the team’s only trip to the endzone in the game as the Bears offence struggled again, even after the move from head coach Matt Nagy to hand over play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Bill Lazor.
- Bears stats: Nick Foles, 15/26, 106 yards, 1 INT
- Rushing leader: Cordarrelle Patterson, 12 carries, 30 yards (and kick-off return TD)
- Receiving leader: Allen Robinson, six catches, 43 yards
A couple of Dan Bailey field goals in the third quarter tied the game up at 13-13, before Cousins’ second scoring connection with Thielen with 10 minutes left in the fourth put the Vikings up for good.
The victory is the third-straight for Minnesota (4-5), while Chicago (5-5) suffered their fourth consecutive defeat, with the two NFC North divisional rivals headed in very different directions.
An interception by Vikings safety Harrison Smith on the Bears’ first possession opened the door for the Vikings to grab an early lead as Cousins threw a 17-yard touchdown pass to Thielen, who made a stunning one-handed catch.
Chicago pulled back to within one at 7-6 by half-time thanks to a pair of field goals by Cairo Santos, who connected from 23 yards in the first quarter and hit from 42 yards late in the second.
The second half exploded into action as Patterson took the kick-off 104 yards for the score, the eighth return off his career, seeing him into a tie for first place in NFL history alongside Josh Cribbs and Leon Washington.
A 37-yard field goal by Bailey cut the Vikings’ deficit to 13-10 and his second, from 43 yards later, tied the game up. Minnesota took the lead for good courtesy of Thielen’s joint-league-leading ninth touchdown reception of the season.
Minnesota had to hold off a late fourth-quarter drive by the Bears to clinch victory, a drive in which Foles exited the game after being taken down by Vikings defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo.
Foles laid on the ground for a few moments as the medical staff tended to him before he was eventually carted off. Nagy has since informed the media that Foles’ leg and hip are being evaluated.
Backup QB Tyler Bray came on in relief of Foles with a chance to pull off some heroics. His first pass found its way to running back Ryan Nall for a gain of 18, but Bray’s next three passes would fall incomplete, leading to a game-ending turnover on downs.
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