The Chicago Bears defeated the Minnesota Vikings at Soldier Field after losing their starting quarterback early in the game. Khalil Mack highlighted a dominant performance by this Bears defense, forcing his tenth fumble as a Chicago Bear.
The story of the game is Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky’s left shoulder. The Bears starting quarterback went down with a left shoulder injury early in the first quarter on the Bears’ first offensive series after just six plays.
The Bears defense played extremely well, however, especially against Dalvin Cook, who led the NFL in rushing entering the game. Chicago held Cook to just 15 yards on eight carries in the first half. Here are the winners and losers from the Bears win against the Vikings:
WINNER: Chase Daniel
Daniel also had the Bears longest passing play of the season, a 37-yard pass to Javon Wims.
Daniel had some bad overthrows, but was overall efficient in a game the Bears needed to win. He finished the game 22-30 for 195 yards and a touchdown and an overall passer rating of 101.4. He had no turnovers, which was also crucial to the Bears’ success in this game.
WINNER: Khalil Mack and the Entire Bears Defense
The Bears’ defense played lights out through three quarters. Khalil Mack played like a man on a mission. At one point, one one play, he was double teamed, and he drew a holding call while still getting a half-sack. Roy Robertson-Harris, who helped fill the void left by Akiem Hicks and Bilal Nichols, had 1.5 sacks and a tackle-for-loss.
In the absence of Pro Bowl defensive lineman Akiem Hicks and second-year linebacker Roquan Smith, their replacements stepped up and played quality football. Nick Williams had two sacks, and was a huge part of a swarming Bears defensive. Williams has a sack in three straight games, which bodes well if Akiem Hicks rests again next week. Nick Kwiatkoski stepped up and made several huge tackles, including a tackle-for-loss late in the third quarter and a forced fumble on Kirk Cousins that set up a 3rd and 35.
The Vikings didn’t score until just under three minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
WINNER: Pat O’Donnell
O’Donnell was key in the Bears’ winning the battle for field position in this game. He continued his career year with five punts for an average of 48.2 yards and a long of 64. Because of O’Donnell’s big boot, the Vikings consistently found themselves deep in their own territory. He was the game’s special teams MVP.
WINNER and LOSER: Matt Nagy’s Play-Calling
Matt Nagy is 3-0 against Mike Zimmer, and he certainly coached an effective game considering he was without four key starters. He stuck with the run throughout the game, an improvement over recent games. But Nagy’s play-calling on third down was still called into question by some.
Nagy has frustrated some with his “cute” play-calling on third down, and he never seems to get aggressive enough down the stretch when the team needs first downs. Instead of attempting a pass or two to close out the game on offense late in the fourth quarter, Nagy called run after run, which was the only unsuccessful part of his game plan.
LOSER: Mitch Trubisky’s Shoulder
Trubisky went down on the team’s first series, and it looked bad for the quarterback, as he appeared to injure his left shoulder as he rolled over it.
Trubisky was on the sidelines with his arm in a sling in the second half:
There is no news yet on the severity of Trubisky’s injury, but with a win in his absence today against a tough divisional opponent, the Bears will head to London 3-1 to face the Oakland Raiders next Sunday before their bye week during week 6.