PASSING OFFENSE: F – The team's combined passer rating of 36.6 said it all. Starter Christian Ponder continued his month-long slump, stamping the lasting image of his rookie season as one of an ineffective and injury-prone slide into an offseason of question marks. He completed four of 10 passes with an 8.3 passer rating and left the game early in the second quarter after aggravating his right hip pointer. Included in those 10 passes was his third pick-six interception in the past five games. In his last four games, Ponder threw for 311 yards on 49.2 percent passing and missed most or all of the second halves of three games, one for a concussion, one for a hip pointer and one after turning the ball over four times. Joe Webb relieved Ponder for the third time in four games, but he didn't have the same magic he had before. He ran for only 2 yards on four carries while completing 17 of 32 passes for 200 yards and two interceptions, including the game-clincher in the closing minutes.
RUSHING OFFENSE: D – Toby Gerhart was solid until having to leave the game with a sprained MCL in his left knee. He had 67 yards on 15 carries for a 4.5-yard average. Receiver Percy Harvin added five more carries for 13 yards, including a 5-yard touchdown. Overall, the team ran for only 79 yards – the third-lowest total this season – on 27 carries (2.9 average). With Adrian Peterson tearing an ACL and MCL the week before, Lorenzo Booker had to step in when Gerhart went down. Booker, a free agent this offseason, didn't show much with minus-3 yards on two carries.
PASS DEFENSE: C-plus – Vikings cornerback Cedric Griffin had his first interception since the 2009 season. Granted, it came against Josh McCown, who was making only his second start since 2007. The pick gave the Vikings eight interceptions on the season, a league low and a tie for the lowest total for an entire season. McCown also threw a 22-yard touchdown against yet another badly busted coverage. The Vikings also had a season-high seven sacks, including 3½ by Jared Allen, whose 22 sacks broke the franchise record. He came within half a sack of Michael Strahan's NFL record.
RUSH DEFENSE: B – Bears running back Kahlil Bell said he was motivated to play the Vikings because they released him as a rookie free agent before the start of the 2009 season. Bell was held to 54 yards on 17 carries (3.2 average) and lost a fumble. Overall, the Vikings held the Bears to 92 yards on 25 carries (3.7 average).
SPECIAL TEAMS: C – The Vikings did a lot of good things, some bad things and some boneheaded things. They held their longtime nemesis – Bears returner Devin Hester – to 26 total return yards (4 on punts and 22 on kickoffs). But Everson Griffen also was called for two penalties in coverage. He drew a personal foul for leveling Hester after he had called for a fair catch, and he was flagged for being offside on a kickoff on which Hester was tackled at the Chicago 3. Kicker Ryan Longwell had a field goal blocked and never got to attempt a 41-yarder. A high snap by Matt Katula botched the attempt.
COACHING: C – Give Leslie Frazier and his staff credit for getting a three-win team to play as hard as the Vikings did Sunday. Defensively, it was one of the team's best efforts of the season. The Bears were held to 10 first downs, 209 total yards and 160 yards passing. The low point of the game for the coaches came with 59 seconds left in the first half. The Vikings called a timeout on fourth-and-1 to discuss whether to go for it or kick a 26-yarder. Confusion reigned on the sideline as the field-goal unit went out first, followed by the offense. Unable to call consecutive timeouts, the offense had to scurry off the field and let the field-goal unit kick. It sure appeared as though Frazier's final decision was to go for it, but there wasn't time to get the offense on the field and the field-goal unit off the field.
Grading the game: Bears
Viking Update Top Stories
VIDEO: Zimmer on final preps for EaglesMinnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer discusses some key players for Philadelphia, his defense and if Jake Long could play.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 12:02 PM
Vikings have 3 receivers on injury reportThe Minnesota Vikings could be getting Stefon Diggs back in the lineup, but he is among three receivers on their injury report.
Viking UpdateYesterday at 11:37 AM
Notebook: Walsh ‘past the bad things?’The Minnesota Vikings are preparing to play “quite possibly the best special teams unit across the board that we've faced so far this year.” Plus, the Vikings are doing much better…
Viking UpdateYesterday at 8:49 AM
Hard-core stats: Vikings at EaglesThe Minnesota Vikings will look to exploit some of the weaknesses the Eagles have shown lately, including one strength for the Vikings and one weakness. We go deep into where the…
Viking UpdateYesterday at 5:04 AM