Finally, the first time my cardiac system has peace on a Sunday in months. The Minnesota Vikings beat the Chicago Bears, 29-13. The Vikings finish the season at (13-4), while the Bears finish out at a mirrored (3-14). This game serves as a nice, calming transition into one of the most unsure and generally undecided postseasons in this franchise’s history. Are we really the first round exits we’ve seemed like in our four losses, or can we make a run with this team’s uncanny ability to pull a win out of nowhere? Now’s not the time for that speculation, though. It’s time to summarize this sort-of throwaway match.
Offense is first up, and K.J. Osborn really had the only standout offensive performance today with his second career 100-yard game. Another unsung improvement (not heroes, I’m not going that far yet) was our offensive line. Yeah, Chicago doesn’t have an incredible d-line, but it’s good to see that they can at least manage some type of pressure. C.J. Ham had more receiving yards than Justin Jefferson today, and Alexander Mattison had more rushing yards than Dalvin Cook. Oddly, the offense had a bit of a fumbling problem today, but it seems like a bit of an outlier or could’ve been a side effect of a lack of focus. Regardless, we get the win even with subs coming in pretty early.
Defense is next, and I’m kinda disappointed in our defensive line. Against a team that’s been long out of the playoff picture, getting one whole sack as a unit is really sad to look at. At the very least, Duke Shelley got his revenge interception and Patrick Peterson snagged one and ran it back almost 30 yards. Defense never got tested too hard considering the opposing quarterback they faced was a combination of Nathan Peterman and Tim Boyle. I hope both sides can get back, rest up, and prepare for the gauntlet that is the playoffs.
Special Teams was almost not even worth mentioning today. Greg Joseph missed the first extra point of the day, but rebounded by hitting every other (five) kick in the contest. Ryan Wright, stripped of his ROTY status in light of his recent performances, only punted once today, and it wasn’t really a good punt. Even with everything mentioned, Minnesota scrapes together some momentum for their push into the postseason. Every weakness, knock, and instability in this team will be exposed tenfold starting next week. Let’s hope the strong suits on this team pull through.