MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Kirk Cousins handed for 172 yards and three touchdowns in the 2nd half to lead a Minnesota Vikings comeback to beat the Chicago Bears 31-17 on Sunday in a matchup of two eliminated teams with a head coach in hazard of being fired.
Justin Jefferson had the tying score and K.J. Osborn caught the dawdle-ahead touchdown for the Vikings (8-9), who gave coach Mike Zimmer loads to cheer in this pad-the-stats sport while outscoring the Bears 28-3 after halftime.
Bears coach Matt Nagy elected to dawdle for it on fourth down six instances, failing on all but one among them. Andy Dalton took three sacks and threw an interception, and Patrick Peterson picked him off leisurely in the fourth quarter and grew to change into it correct into a 66-yard touchdown return.
Darnell Mooney had 12 catches for 126 yards to dawdle the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the Bears (6-11), who are 30-35 in four seasons beneath Nagy without a put off in the playoffs.
D.J. Wonnum and Anthony Barr every had two of Minnesota’s seven sacks of Dalton, who went 33 for 48 for 325 yards and a touchdown dawdle to Damien Williams that gave the Bears a 14-0 lead legal earlier than halftime. The victory gave Zimmer a 72-56-1 myth in eight years, including 2-3 in the playoffs. The Vikings beget missed the postseason in three of the past four years.
Rookie Ihmir Smith-Marsette had 103 yards and a touchdown, Dalvin Cook rushed 14 instances for 79 yards and Jefferson completed with 107 yards — leaving him 17 yards searching the single-season franchise myth. Randy Moss position the 16-sport mark with 1,632 yards in 2003. The crowd chanted “Let’s dawdle, Justin!” when the Vikings took the ball for the last time, booing after they decided to kneel down to entire the sport in desire to giving Jefferson one other chance at the myth.
The Bears had seven possessions over the first three quarters and reached at least the Minnesota 35 on each person. They’d one touchdown and three arena targets by Cairo Santos to issue for it.
That is because Dalton, the 11-year worn making his sixth commence of the season after rookie Justin Fields landed on the COVID-19 reserve list this week, took three fourth-down sacks for a whopping 35 lost yards. Two of these came on fourth-and-1.
The costliest one came early in the third quarter when Dalton scrambled on third-and-8 for what used to be in the origin ruled a touchdown, earlier than a replay overview reversed the call alongside with his knee down legal searching the aim line. Then Barr chased Dalton down for a 15-yard loss after he looped spherical in the reduction of the road of scrimmage shopping for an start receiver.
Bears: DT Akiem Hicks (ankle), who created the recurring havoc for Minnesota’s offense in the old matchup on Dec. 20, used to be out for a seventh sport this season.
Vikings: LB Eric Kendricks sat out on COVID-19 reserve. DT Michael Pierce (sickness) missed his 2nd straight sport and used to be indolent nine instances this season. CB Mackensie Alexander (ankle) and CB Kris Boyd (ribs) had been both out. That place CB Parry Nickerson, fresh off the observe squad, in the slot aim in the reduction of Patrick Peterson and Cameron Dantzler.
Bears: Already locked into third arena, Chicago will play the next third-arena finishers in 2022: Houston and San Francisco at home and at Novel Orleans or Atlanta. The entire AFC East and NFC East divisions are also on the agenda for all NFC North teams. The Bears sent their first-spherical draft retract to the Novel York Giants for last year’s alternate up to obtain Fields.
Vikings: By ending 2nd, Minnesota will face Indianapolis and the Los Angeles Rams or Arizona at home and play at Novel Orleans or Atlanta.
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