Three Takeaways from Bears win over Vikings
Brad Rempel - USA Today Sports

Three Takeaways from Bears win over Vikings

by - Senior Writer -

It may not always be a thing of beauty, but a win is a win for this Chicago Bears team, and it came against an NFC North Rival for the first time since 2021. Facing off against the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night, the Bears forced four turnovers by intercepting Josh Dobbs four

times times in the first three quarters.

Unfortunately, the Bears only scored six points off those turnovers, while a pair of late-game fumbles nearly gave this game to the Vikings. Cairo Santos had other ideas, as his four field goals in five tries were the difference in the Bears' 12-10 win over the Vikings. As ugly as things were, there was a lot to like about how this team played, and hopefully, they can use that to their advantage going forward.

The Bears defense is pretty good

When the Bears spent all that money on the defensive side of the ball this offseason, this was the defense they envisioned when putting this team together. Too bad it took nearly the entire season to get to that level as the Bears defense has not only played well the last few games, but has gotten better every game since October.

Matt Eberflus is the main reason why, as he took over the playcalling duties after letting former defensive coordinator Alan Williams go the third week of the season. There still have been moments when the Bears defense struggles, but Eberflus has done a great job being aggressive, which he was known for during his days at Indianapolis.

Adding a legitimate pass rusher in Montez Sweat to get after the QB certainly helps a team be aggressive, but after forcing 10 turnovers the past two games, the Bears are starting to get back to their old ways of turning teams over. No one is expecting them to continue this pace, but if this continues, the Bears will be a problem for many teams.

Sweat has been a savior

Sticking with the defensive side of the ball and we would be foolish not to talk about Sweat and what he means to this team. Acquired by Ryan Poles from the Washington Commanders at the deadline, the Bears instantly turned around and gave him a lengthy extension to keep him in Chicago long-term.

The Bears came into the season needing to improve their pass rush, and after adding Yannick Ngakoue, they hoped he would be the difference maker they needed. Ngakoue was the only one producing during the first few weeks, but he wasn't producing at a level good enough for this team to do anything.

That is where Sweat comes in, as he has not only taken this defense by storm but is the pass rusher this team has been lacking for quite some time. Sweat picked up 1.5 sacks again last night and has gotten at least one sack in every game, but one since joining the Bears. Even when he doesn't sack the QB, he still puts pressure on them, forcing them to make bad decisions, leading to those turnovers. With four years left on his contract after this season, it will be interesting to see the type of player Sweat can become with the Bears.

Better late than never

It is hard to believe that Eberflus has coached nearly 30 games with the Chicago Bears and had yet to record an NFC North win. Well, that all changed on Monday, and all it took was a gutsy performance by the defense, one big throw from Justin Fields, and a kicker that continues to impress to give him that win.

In a season filled with struggles since day one, any moral victory this time of the year can go a long way to determining the future of everyone in this organization. Adding your first career NFC North victory may not seem like a big deal, but it is, at the very least, a bode of confidence for Eberflus and the entire team as the hard work they have been putting in is starting to pay off.

As hard as it is to believe, at 4-8, the Bears are only two games out of the final playoff spot with several winnable games down the stretch. We have seen stranger things happen in the NFL before, and with how the Bears' defense has looked the past three weeks, who knows what can happen the rest of the way. All it will take is for the offense to be consistent and trust Fields, and there will be plenty of good things on the horizon for this team.

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