The Minnesota Vikings wrapped up their regular season on Sunday afternoon as they hosted the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium. With multiple starters out, the Vikings still gave the Bears everything they could handle but ultimately fell by a score of 21-19.
As mentioned, the Vikings' biggest priority in this game was to get their key players healthy for a playoff run that begins next week against either the Seattle Seahawks or the New Orleans Saints. With the Vikings locked into the six seed, head coach Mike Zimmer took the opportunity to declare six starters (Dalvin Cook, Anthony Barr, Eric Kendricks, Riley Reiff, Brian O'Neill, and Shamar Stephen) inactive prior to kickoff.
While others such as Kirk Cousins were active, the day belonged to the backups as Sean Mannion got the start at quarterback and promptly opted to give the ball to Mike Boone.
One week after laying an egg in his first career start against the Packers, Boone rebounded with one of the best first-half performance in the NFL this season that saw him run for 126 of his 148 yards in the first 30 minutes.
Boone was the highlight of the day for the Vikings, who also saw their defense handle Mitchell Trubisky well throughout the afternoon holding him to 207 scoreless yards passing. With Dan Bailey providing most of the offense with four field goals, it appeared that Ifeadi Odenigbo gave the Vikings a victory with a scoop and score that was reversed after a review.
With Bailey putting the Vikings ahead with a 34-yard field goal, the Vikings could not stop the Bears offense one last time with Trubisky finding Riley Ridley for a 32-yard pass on 4th and 9 that set up the game-winning 22-yard field goal by Pinero that sent the Bears happily into the offseason at 8-8.
Meanwhile, the 10-6 Vikings will now wait to see who they will face in next week's NFC Wild Card matchup. Their fate will hinge on tonight's game between the Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers, where if the Seahawks win, the Vikings will be heading to Seattle for the second time this season.
If there is a tie, the Vikings will head to San Francisco and if Seattle loses, they'll head to New Orleans, who demolished the Carolina Panthers by a score of 42-10 on Sunday afternoon.