Fields goes down as Bears fall to Vikings
Mike Dinovo - USA Today Sports

Fields goes down as Bears fall to Vikings

by - Senior Writer -

CHICAGO - Just when you thought the Chicago Bears (1-5) have turned the corner offensively as a team, you had another subpar showing against the Minnesota Vikings (2-4) on Sunday. Locked into a defensive struggle early in the game, one that seemed to favor the Bears early on, it was the Vikings defense that stepped up as they forced a pair of Chicago interceptions and three total turnovers.

One of those turnovers was returned for a touchdown, which was the difference in the game as the Vikings held on for the 19-13 win. As if that wasn't bad enough, Tyson Bagent was forced into action early in the second half as Justin Fields went down with a hand injury and was deemed unable to return. His status going forward is now in question, but Fields wasn't having a great day before his injury, as he was just 6-10 passing for 58 yards with one interception. That followed back-to-back four touchdown games for the young QB as he continues to show promise, but also a ton of inconsistency.

As things unfolded in this one, all eyes were on the Vikings offense and how they would look, as this was their first game without their all-pro WR Justin Jefferson. As expected, there were some bumps along the way, but Kirk Cousins still managed to make do with what he had as he completed 21/31 passes for 181 yards and one TD. These could be the games he sees for the next few weeks, as it will be up to the Viking's defense to overcome the loss of Jefferson.

Early on, it appeared that this game would come down to the legs of Fields as the Vikings sacked him on the first play of the game before he ripped off a big run to get most of those yards back. With Khalil Herbert, Travis Homer, and Roschon Johnson currently injured, the Legs of Fields will be crucial, but he still didn't do what he is capable of on the ground.

Expecting to be more involved with Jefferson out, Jordan Addison opened the Vikings first possession up with a first down catch and quickly had the ball near midfield. Despite several tough runs for Alexander Mattison, who finished with 44 yards, Minnesota was unable to do much on their opening possession, but a 53-yard field goal from Greg Joseph gave the Vikings a 3-0 lead.

Field goals were the story early in this game, with Joseph adding a second field goal in the second quarter while Cairo Santos connected for a pair of his own to remain perfect and kept the score 6-6 early. For Santos, he has made 52 consecutive field goals inside 40 yards, the third longest streak in the NFL behind Justin Tucker and Jake Elliott. The key moments of the game came late in the second quarter as the Bears went from having all of the momentum to find themselves trailing suddenly.

With the Vikings escaping their previous drive with a near-fumble, Trumaine Edmunds came through with a huge fumble recovery on Cousins as the Bears had the ball on the Vikings side of the field and less than three minutes to go until the half. Set up with excellent field position, Chicago quickly gave the ball back to the Vikings as Jordan Hicks picked off Fields for the first of three turnovers giving the ball back to the Vikings offense.

That momentum swing completely changed the game as the Vikings put together, by far, their best possession of the game and went down the field on eight plays, covering 77 yards. TJ Hockenson played a massive role by picking up 35 yards on three receptions, but the 10-yard strike to the rookie Addison right before the half gave the Vikings the lead for good, 12-6.

Hoping to put that touchdown behind them, neither team looked great in the early stages of the second half, but for the Bears, the Danielle Hunter sack on Fields had an even bigger implication as Fields left the game with an injured throwing hand. That forced Bagent into the game for the first time this season, and three plays into his first series, it was a Josh Metellus strip sack that killed another drive as Hicks picked up the loose ball and raced 46 yards to the endzone to put the Vikings on top 19-6. Those would be the final points of the day for the Vikings, as the loss of Jefferson certainly affected what they did on the field.

Forced into a tough spot, the Bears hoped a pass interference call would loom large, only to have the offense turn the ball over on downs. Despite the Vikings getting the ball inside Bears territory, all was not lost as Joseph was unable to connect from 57 yards out, keeping the score 19-6. At this point in the game, Bagent started to look more comfortable in the pocket, but credit Luke Getsy for calling some good plays to help him settle in.

Finding DJ Moore for 18 yards will certainly help get a drive started, but D'Onta Foreman came up huge, as he will be critical to the Bears rushing success in the next few weeks. Foreman is more than capable of shouldering the load while Herbert and others are on the mend, and after leading the team with 65 yards on 15 carries, he should get more touches in the coming weeks.

His runs helped ease Bagent into some easy throws as he found Moore again for 24 yards before the Robert Tonyan first down reception put the ball inside the 10. With Foreman getting the ball to the one, it was Bagent finishing things as his first career NFL touchdown came on a one-yard sneak and pulled the Bears within 19-13.

With the defense doing their part to give the ball back to the offense, Bagent had a chance to play hero as the Bears needed a touchdown to tie it and an extra point to win it. Leave it to Foreman to get things going as he carried the ball three times for 22 yards and helped move the ball toward midfield. After Bagent found Tyler Scott for a few short passes, it was going to take a big play for the Bears to put themselves in a position to win this game.

Bagent went for the big play, but after underthrowing his receiver by a good five yards, Byron Murphy was there for the interception. That was the end for the Bears, with Minnesota running out the clock and sealing a tough 19-13 defeat for Chicago. Bagent wasn't great, but with 10/14 passing for 83 yards in his first game, he may be the starter next week, depending on the severity of Fields injury.

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