Skip to main content

The Vikings slithered out of Chicago with a stolen victory Monday night like the Grinch after he pillaged Whoville with nary a thought about the dispiriting mess left behind.

At least they had the common decency to spare everyone the electrocardiograms and cold compresses that have kept fans alive and regrettably engaged during a 2021 season destined for the scrapbook and boneyard.

A forgettable 17-9 win over the embarrassing Bears at the Soldier Field house of mirrors keeps everyone in the front office, coaching ranks, locker room and viewing audience in purgatory for another week.

This is going nowhere, but not nowhere fast enough.

Fourteen games have netted seven gains, seven losses and an uninspiring sense of droning inevitability. A tenuous hold on the seventh NFC postseason spot is a fig leaf trying to cover up a multitude of blemishes that make Minnesota look like the expansion playoff team they might be.

You cannot merely escape from a club that lost for the eighth time in nine games. With 14 players and three coaches sidelined because of COVID-19 protocols. Against a rookie quarterback in Justin Fields who has obvious talent, but is in way over his head. And led by dead-man walking Matt Nagy, who got his money’s worth stalking and ranting at the officials like a head coach about to be frog-walked out of Halas Hall.

Chicago looked like an on-field banana republic. The Tombstone City Council trying to instill law and order in a bastion of anarchy.

The Bears (4-10) were flagged for nine penalties, including three personal fouls/unsportsmanlike calls that extended failed Minnesota drives and kept the field and clock tilted toward the grateful Vikings.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins completed 12 of 24 passes for a career-low 87 yards and was sacked four times. He managed two touchdown passes. His interception was made possible after wide receiver Justin Jefferson was assaulted on his route without a flag from an officiating crew that was happy to call every minor traffic violation they could.

But the Vikings’ offense, while still missing star receiver Adam Thielen, was in full identity crisis again. Jefferson was largely ignored despite his score. The running game was non-existent. The offensive line largely AWOL.

From the performances and play-calling, to the urgency, discipline and sheer entertainment value, this game fell out of Private Ryan’s ugly tree and smacked every branch on the way down.

The Vikings produced a paltry 193 total yards compared to Chicago’s 370 and went three-and-out on four consecutive drives in the second half to practically beg Chicago to drive another late-game stake into their hearts.

“I think we’ve got work to do,” Cousins said. “I think there’s a lot to improve upon.”

Anytime now, franchise quarterback.

The Vikings were playing for their playoff lives. The Bears played because they had to.

Chicago drove into the red zone six times and emerged with just a field goal until a last-second touchdown set Las Vegas aflame because it rendered the point-after attempt moot in a game in which Minnesota was favored by seven.

Otherwise, the longtime division rivals treated the country to a nationally televised lobotomy ruled by a pack of quack officials who were so biased for Minnesota they finally ruled Drew Pearson pushed off.

The Los Angeles Rams and Green Bay Packers must be drooling at the prospect of lining up against the Vikings the next two weeks like a caged tiger eyeing a fresh pail of red meat.

No one sober believes Minnesota is going to win at least two of its final three games and stumble into the playoff. And then what? Roll into Tampa, L.A. or back to Lambeau Field and outduel Tom Brady, Matthew Stafford or Aaron Rodgers?

Good teams peak in December and January and position themselves for probable postseason success or valid upsets.

The Vikings are leading themselves and their fan base into another buzzsaw of disappointment. Like the geek whose prom date humored him by saying yes only to shut him down on the dance floor.

We’re left with boring bromides by Cousins and coach Mike Zimmer about having more work to do, that there still is room to improve and that Minnesota still controls its own destiny.

Yes, yes and yes.

But here were the Bears, a storied franchise practically begging to be contracted – or at least gently walked behind the barn and put down -- staying relevant way too long past bedtimes.

Instead, the Vikings soiled themselves with an eight-point win that was as hollow as the echo of mediocrity that has defined them all season.

The lurching continues.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2022-01-20 at 10.45.51 AM

Video: Inebriated Sheriff Dave Hutchinson after high-speed crash

Hutchinson was unaware of his location and repeatedly said he wasn't driving.


Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Thursday, January 20

A Mayo Clinic data scientists believes omicron may have already peaked in parts of Minnesota, though that reality won't show up in the reported cases until at least next week.

hospital, emergency room

2 dead, 1 critical after being found unconscious in garage

The men were believed to have been drinking together and possibly using drugs.

Flickr - police lights squad siren - Edward Kimmel

2 teens suspected in 20 robberies arrested after police chase

They are suspects in 23 cases in three Twin Cities counties.

Dave Hutchinson

Hennepin Co. Sheriff was driving 125 mph before DWI crash, files reveal

Taken together, the files provide a clearer picture of what exactly happened the morning of Dec. 8.

Pixabay - casino slot machines

Canadian man pleads guilty to sexually abusing children at MN casino

Brady John Hillis, 32, pleaded guilty two counts of abusive sexual contact with a child under 12.

Screen Shot 2020-08-14 at 6.45.53 PM

Exchange of shoes sold online results in theft, shots fired

The victim had initially arranged to sell a pair of shoes to the suspect on an online marketplace.

plow, snowplow, snow

Michigan beats Minnesota to 'Betty Whiteout' snowplow nickname

There is one BIG difference between the Michigan and Minnesota snowplow contests.

kacey musgraves

Kacey Musgraves gives shoutout to Minneapolis vintage store

The country music star was in the Twin Cities kicking off her latest tour.

Anthony Edwards

Ant ejected, Wolves blow huge lead and lose to slumping Hawks

The Timberwolves missed another opportunity to get over .500.

Xcel Energy Center

NHL announces make-up dates for Wild postponements

The Wild will play 40 games in the final 77 days of the regular season.


2016_0926_USBS_Interior_Exterior_0004 (1)

How close were the Vikings to being a playoff team?

Mike Zimmer ran through the close losses on Monday but the bigger picture looks like they deserve to be on the outside looking in

Soldier Field

Coller: When it comes to Vikings-Bears, do you believe in curses?

There’s no real explanation for the Bears’ dominance over the Vikings at Soldier Field.

1114_LA-112 (1)

A certain defensive look keeps stymying the Vikings' offense

Kirk Cousins may have to revert to some shorter throws if defenses take away explosive plays

Mike Zimmer

Matthew Coller: Vikings are facing an all-in team, huh?

Matthew Coller writes a weekly Thursday column about the Vikings for Bring Me The News.


Answering the burning Vikings playoff questions

Purple Insider discusses the Vikings' chances at making the postseason and who they'd want to face.


Zimmer playing starters in meaningless game is aimless approach

Mike Zimmer said the Vikings plan to play everyone but is that the right move?


Vikings receiver KJ Osborn is more than a third wheel

Osborn has stepped up in the absence of Adam Thielen and come through in the clutch.


The Vikings are taking ‘week-to-week’ too literally

Kirk Cousins threw for less than 100 yards in ugly 17-9 win over Bears, and the passing game has suddenly gone cold.