Quick Game Comments: Bears at Vikings 10/9/22


  • The Vikings won the coin toss and chose to receive rather than defer as is normally the case. We rapidly found out why. Minnesota’s game plan was evident from the get-go in this game. The first drive was almost entirely running the ball with Dalvin Cook and feeding Justin Jefferson on play action passes. Jefferson had four receptions for 55 yards Cook had a touchdown in less than a half of a quarter of play. The game couldn’t have started better for the Vikings.
  • Bears game plan was obviously to sit back, stop the run, and keep everything in front of them. Essentially they were counting on Minnesota beating themselves and shooting themselves in the foot. The problem is that Minnesota wasn’t doing that. They were executing to perfection. Kirk Cousins’ first incompletion of the day came with 3 minutes left in the first half. That was obviously a big problem.
  • It was very obvious from the first pass that the Bears did not have a defensive back on the field that could reliably cover Jefferson one-on-one. The Vikings wide receivers were running routes that were turning the Bears defensive backs every which way and upside down. It was like a circus back there. The Vikings passed for 312 yards and 7.3 yards per pass.
  • Just after the beginning of the second quarter was the first time that color man Mark Schlereth used the term “bad eyes” to describe a Chicago Bear. It was when Jaylon Jones got sucked in to the interior of the defense and allow Cook to get outside of him to score the Vikings second touchdown. It was far from the only time that Schlereth could have used this phrase or something similar. The Bears are definitely a work in progress and are still cleaning this up.
  • The defensive line once again wasn’t getting penetration against the run and the linebackers weren’t playing down hill. The Vikings ran 117 yards. The Bears also had a very difficult time getting pressure on Cousins despite the fact that they used a variety of different stunts upfront. They generally avoided blitzing, especially in the first half.
  • Once again the Bears came back and played some sneaky good defense in the second half. It’s tough to tell exactly what they were doing differently. Although they were doing a lot more run blitzing, Cook was still running over them and they were still giving the Viking receivers plenty of room. One thing was very evident – the Vikings weren’t playing as well as they did in the first half. In that respect, they definitely let them back into it. At minimum, give the Bears credit for holding steady through adversity to allow this to happen.


  • The Bears offense came out looking very discombobulated. Fields was either late with Dante Pettis or early with Darnell Mooney. It’s hard to tell who’s fault for these missed connections. But it’s fairly obvious that the offense was very disjounted at times.
  • It wasn’t a good sign when Khari Blasingame got on the field late on the very first drive and the Bears took a delay of game. And then Justin Fields had the ball snapped into his gut when he wasn’t expecting it as he was trying to perform a check at the line. That was the first play of the second “drive”. The performance was barely professional.
  • In fairness, it did occur to me that Justin Fields may have been trying to throw with anticipation on some of these plays that weren’t connecting. If so, that’s a good sign. He needs to be able to do that if he’s going to succeed and it may take time for it to come together.
  • As Schlereth so aptly put it, the Vikings were “establishing a new line of scrimmage” upfront. The Bears offensive line simply got whipped much of the time. The Bears ran for only 78 yards and 3.3 yards per carry. Allot of the was Fields. This is becoming a recurring theme.
  • Heck of a 39-yard catch by Mooney late in the first half. It was a one-handed grab falling backwards to the ground. One of the best catches that I’ve ever seen. It set up a David Montgomery touchdown.
  • Fields did a lot of damage on the ground today again. He ran for 47 yards on eight carries. The Vikings did a poor job of keeping him in the pocket the way that the Packers did a couple weeks ago and it burned them. I thought that this played a major role in bringing a little bit of offensive competence for the Bears to this game. It was a major factor in allowing them to come back in the second half. The timing in the passing game got a little better, as well.
  • On a related note I fear for Field’s health.


  • Adam Amin, Kristina Pink and Schlereth were your announcers. Schlereth does a good job in my book though I do understand why some people might not be fans. He usually points out the salient points during the game, which is a bare essential, but he specializes in talking about blocking technique and line play. Its something that no one else gives you and I appreciate it though I know that its not for everyone. Amin is a rising star and he always does a good job, especially for hometown Chicago.
  • The Bears onside kick in the second half was an interesting call. My first thought was, “What are they doing? They’re only five points down with plenty of time left?” But on the other hand, are the Bears really headed to the playoffs or something? I mean what do they have to lose, right? So I say good for Matt Eberflus. What the heck.
  • Ditto with going for it on fourth and four with three minutes left in the third quarter.
  • Certainly helps except the failure of the onside kick knowing that the Bears did a nice job of blocking the Viking field goal attempt that followed. Good work there.
  • The Giants win over the Packers was a good game. That’s two weeks in a row for London. Good for them. They deserve it after some of the crap that they’ve seen over the years.
  • The Bears tied the Vikings with a turnover a piece and had fewer penalties (six versus seven). But a block in the back by Ihmir Smith-Marsette brought back a 52 yard touchdown run by Fields. And, of course, Cameron Danzler stripped Smith-Marsette for the game winning turnover.
  • This was a fascinating game to me in that it encapsulated the Bears season to this point and likely in H and H the season to come. The Bears aren’t talented to beat many teams. In fact they may have beaten the only team that they could and the Texans a few weeks back. But they are capable of allowing you to come up against them and beat yourselves.

    The first half of this game the Vikings were virtually perfect. They executed their offense against the Bears defense, moved the ball like a knife through butter and scored almost at will. The third quarter and for part of the fourth quarter, however, they made numerous errors and didn’t play as well. The Bears blew it in the end but for most of the second half they laid back and before you knew it, they were a head in the game.

    So far, to my eye, they come up against some teams that have played reasonably well at home. I’m convinced that eventually they’re going to come up against some teams that are going to take them too lightly or who are going to simply have a bad game. Those games have a good chance to be wins. It will be interesting to see how many of them there will be.

You can find Tom Shannon on Twitter @bearingthenews

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