Dec 20

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2015 Week Fifteen: Vikings vs Bears

I’m back. I didn’t blog the Cardinals game since I was hosting my team at my house for the holidays. We did have the game on and it was not the national spotlight embarrassment I expected, which was a nice surprise – except for the fact it felt like the Vikings could have won that game with just a little more effort, so that was almost worse than a blow out.

All that said, the Bears came to town today. The Bears started the 2nd half with an unexpected on-side kick. They recovered and the momentum the Vikings wanted went directly to the Bears. Until 2 plays later when Robison went for the sack, the strip and the recovery. The Vikings were able to capitalize on the turnover with a great passing play from Teddy to Diggs for 6 points. When Teddy ran for a TD mid-4th quarter, the game was over and the Vikings had one more win on the season.

So, let’s break it down.

Teddy Bridgewater was the MVP of the game. Maybe we do have a real QB after all.

Teddy Bridgewater was the MVP of the game. Maybe we do have a real QB after all.

The Good

  • While down our top 3 defenders, the Vikings’ defense managed to hold the Bears to 3-and-Outs on their first two offensive series. Andrew Sendejo and Chad Greenway had big plays in the second series.
  • The Vikings offense looked sharp starting the game. They marched 93 yards and a TD pass from Teddy to Stefon Diggs capped the drive.
  • Blair Walsh managed to make a 53 yard field goal. He banked it in off the left upright so extra credit for giving the Bears fans hope that it might miss.
  • Tom Johnson made some critical plays, as did Sharrif Floyd. While having Joseph, Smith and Barr out is doing the Vikings no favors, there are some players stepping up, which is good to see.
  • Danielle Hunter had a beautiful sack on Cutler in the 2nd quarter. Robison started the pressure and Hunter finished it. Sweet! Bears were forced to punt.
  • Jerrick McKinnon – did Norv finally figure out how to use him? Before the half, he already had 2 TDs. So many games, we could have used points like that.
  • Adam Thielen made a welcome appearance late in the 2nd quarter. The special teams coverage on the kick-off was stout for the first time in a while.
  • Brian Robison with a strip-sack and subsequent recovery at the start of the 2nd half returned the momentum to the Vikings after the Bears’ on-side kick recovery to start it.
  • Teddy connected with Stefon Diggs for a TD, making the most of the turnover. Bonus: Blair Walsh made the extra point.
  • Chad Greenway had a very good game today, including a sack.
  • Trattou - intercepting Cutler like a boss!

    Trattou – intercepting Cutler like a boss!

    Justin Trattou intercepted Cutler with 9 minutes or so left in the 4th quarter, embodying the old motto of “next man up”.

  • After Trattou’s INT, Teddy ran for a TD as the Bears looked on in disbelief. I had to chuckle. There. Is. Your. Dagger.
  • Adam Thielen anticipated another on-side kick and recovered it. Between Jerrick McKinnon and Matt Asiata, the Vikings ran the ball to eat up time on the clock.

The Bad

  • The Vikings deferred after winning the toss and then allowed a 49 yard kick-off return. Special teams weren’t so special to start the game.
  • The Vikings allowed Matt Forte to break free on the first play of the Bears’ first offensive series. The good news was that the Bears decided to hold on that play (and the refs caught it) so the run was negated.
  • Teddy was sacked for a 10 yard loss, stalling the Vikings’ second offensive series. They settled for a barely-there field goal by former Legatron, Blair Walsh.
  • The offensive line started to break down mid-2nd quarter, preventing Bridgewater from having enough time to throw. Worse – the Bears defense was able to sack Teddy and put enough pressure on him to almost get a safety.
  • The Vikings defense looked a little low-effort once the Vikings were up 31-10. We need 60 minutes of football, men.
Mike Priefer: Get your special teams in order.

Mike Priefer: Get your special teams in order.

The Ugly

  • Tackling fundamentals. Surprisingly, I don’t start every game review with this as a permanent bullet – although by the 2nd quarter, it’s always here. Watching the Vikings tackle is like riding a psychotic horse through rush hour traffic. You never know what’s going to happen play by play.
  • Adrian Peterson was injured in the 2nd quarter, rolling an ankle. Since the Vikings running game starts and ends with him, that didn’t bode well for the 2nd half of the game.

The Inexplicable

  • Remember when we had good special teams coverage on punts and kick-offs? Me either. It’s been so long since the Vikings special teams looked good, I barely remember the days we’d stuff the opponent deep in their own territory. Hey Priefer…. you might wanna fix that!

So the Vikings win and the Giants are up next. The Vikings have 2 must-win games ahead. Let’s see what they’ll do.

Until next week Vikings Nation…



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