MINNEAPOLIS – What could you get out of a game like this?
Some statistics and just a little bit of pride – and we mean just a little bit.
The Bears were facing the playoff-bound Vikings to end what’s been a disappointing season, and their opponents chose to sit that majority of their starters for the contest with little on the line. In hopes of salvaging at least a .500 season, Matt Nagy had his top groups on the field for what, in essence, was a glorified exhibition.
Yet the Bears still managed to let a big lead get away against the backups, but they rallied back with one last drive to beat Minnesota 21-19 on Sunday afternoon at US Bank Stadium.
For what it’s worth, the Bears finish the season 8-8, well below preseason expectations that came following a 12-4 campaign in 2018, leaving Ryan Pace with plenty of questions to answer for the next few months.
The Bears’ defense was able to get some productive plays against the Vikings backups, getting turnovers on the first two possessions of the game. Mitchell Trubisky was able to move the ball against Minnesota’s back-ups, but like all year the team stalled in the redzone, leading to a pair of Eddy Pineiro field goals. Minnesota countered with a field goal in the second quarter but the Bears’ defense got on the board when Nick Kwiatkoski tackled Mike Boone in the endzone for the safety to make it 8-3.
Both teams traded field goals before the end of the half for the unusual 11-6 halftime score.
Finally, the Bears capitalized on a drive as David Montgomery punched it in from a yard out to complete a 75-yard drive to make it 18-6. Yet that wouldn’t be enough against the backups, as Minnesota rallied for drives that produced a touchdown then a field goal to make it 18-16. Then a strip-sack of Trubisky by Ifeadi Odenigbo, which he returned for a touchdown but was ruled to be down near the line of scrimmage, led to a fourth Dan Bailey field goal to make it 19-18.
But the Bears’ offense had one more drive left in them, converting a 4th-and-9 as Trubisky hit Riley Ridley for a 32-yard completion. They’d get inside the Vikings’ five-yard line before getting a short Pineiro field goal for the win.