Bears intercept Dobbs four times in win over Vikings
Brad Rempel - USA Today Sports

Bears intercept Dobbs four times in win over Vikings

by - Senior Writer -

MINNEAPOLIS - The Chicago Bears (4-8) certainly don't make it easy on themselves, do they? In what was nearly a carbon copy from last Sunday's game against the Detroit Lions, the Bears came into US Bank Stadium on Monday and forced four Minnesota Vikings (6-6) interceptions. The problem was not being able to capitalize on those INTs as the Bears scored three points off those turnovers but still managed to hold a 9-3 lead entering the final 10 minutes of the game.

Although not as bad as the Detroit game score-wise, Justin Fields and the Bears put the ball on the turf twice in the fourth quarter, with one of those leading to the game's only touchdown to give the Vikings a 10-9 lead late. Fortunately, Fields was able to redeem himself and found DJ Moore for 36 of his 114 yards to put the Bears in field goal range as Santos delivered his fourth field goal in five tries to give the Bears an ugly yet satisfying 12-10 victory.

There wasn't much to like about this game throughout the first half apart from the Bears opening drive that took nearly 10 minutes and 14 plays. Fields was doing his best to spread the ball around as he finished with 217 yards passing in the game, but all of his plays were moderate during that drive. That led to the first of five field goals by Santos, who pushed it wide right for just his second miss of the season.

The rest of the first half was dominated by both defenses, especially the Bears, who forced Minnesota to punt on their first possession before Jaylon Johnson and Jaquon Brisker came away with two of the four picks against Dobbs. Only the Johnson interception resulted in points, with Santos knocking home a field goal to give the Bears a 3-0 lead.

Apart from the drive when Brisker picked off Dobbs, Minnesota was having a very tough time moving the football, but as we have seen in the past, all it takes for that offense to get going is one drive. The final drive in the first half would be that as Dobbs hooked up with Brandon Powell for 28 yards on the Vikings longest passing play of the night. First-down passes to KJ Osborn and Alexander Mattison followed that completion, as did a pair of Bears penalties aiding in more first-down yardage. Fortunately, it was the Bears defense coming up huge when they had to as the Vikings had to settle for the 34 yard field goal by Greg Joseph to make things 3-3 at the half.

The second half was more similar after Mattison opened the half with a 21-yard burst as Kevin O'Connell got aggressive on fourth down on his own end only to turn the ball over on downs. That resulted in another lengthy, yet short drive for the Bears offense as the seven yard run from Roschon Johnson was the longest run on the drive before Santos put the Bears back in front by three with a 39 yard field goal.

Like in the first half, whenever the Vikings had something going offensively, it was the Bears defense coming away with a big play as TJ Edwards made it three interceptions by the Bears defense. Once again, it was the Bears offense failing to capitalize as the legs of Fields gave the Bears just enough yardage to attempt a 55 yard field goal and one that Santos made to make things 9-3. Four plays into the Vikings next drive and it was Kyler Gordon capping off what was a horrific night for Dobbs as he came away with the Bears fourth interception of the game giving the ball back to the offense with a short field.

With a chance to potentially put the game away, Chicago didn't do themselves any favors as they wasted a first down completion from Darnell Mooney by giving the ball back to Minnesota as Fields took a Danielle Hunter sack and put the ball on the turf for Sheldon Day to recover. That was the break the Vikings' offense needed, and you could see by their offense that it was the wake-up call they needed.

Dobbs was starting to use his legs to make things happen for the first time all game while Powell came down with another big 18-yard reception to move the chains. What looked to be a first down completion to Jordan Addison a few plays later was overturned, but after finding Hockenson for 16 yards, the Vikings offense was in business at the Bears 17 line. One play after it was Dobbs hooking up with Hockenson again as their 17-yard completion provided the game-only TD, with the Vikings suddenly leading 10-9.

Things went from bad to worse for the Bears on their next possession as Fields was looking to make something happen on the ground only to get lit up by Josh Metellus and put the ball on the turf again for the Vikings to take over near midfield. With a chance to end the game on their terms, O'Connell went very conservative with his play calls and kept his own team out of field goal range, resulting in a punt to give Fields and the offense one more crack at things.

With two career game-winning drives, Fields was looking to make it three as he found Moore for 16 more yards to start things off. That brought things to the two-minute warning before a pair of Fields runs gave the Bears another first down and inching closer to field goal range. Facing a third and 10 after two incompletions, Fields came through with the biggest play of the game for either side as he found Moore wide open for 36 yards over the middle to put the ball in the Vikings red zone with under a minute to go.

That is all the Bears would need as they took the clock all the way down to 15 seconds before Santos came in and banged home his fourth field goal to win the game for Chicago 12-10. The win was monumental for Matt Eberflus, as this was his first career win against an NFC North opponent after starting his career 0-9. For the second straight game, Fields led the team in rushing with 59 yards, which will continue to be part of his game going forward. Along with the four interceptions, Chicago added two sacks, with Montez Sweat picking up 1.5 and Brisker adding .5.

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