The Bears and Vikings were part of history, an embarrassing one for Minnesota. There were some positive things for the Vikings that were all undone by big-time gaffes. Plus, get more than 40 game notes that help tell the tale of the game.
There are certain times that media members consult their team media guides to check or double-check information. Typically, it is when something extraordinary – good or bad – happens. Sunday's 48-41 loss to the Chicago Bears
was one of those moments.
The 89 combined points set a franchise record – breaking the mark of 87 set in a 52-35 loss to Chicago in the Vikings' first season in 1961. Since then, the most points that were ever scored in a Vikings game was 86 in a 45-41 Minnesota win over the Los Angeles Rams.
The 48 points allowed Sunday tied for the most the Vikings have allowed an opponent since the Les Steckel year of malaise in 1984, when the Vikings lost to the San Francisco 49ers
by a score of 51-3. It also marked the most points scored by the Bears in a game since Dec. 7, 1986, when they put up 48 points against Tampa Bay. The last time they scored more than 48 points goes all the way back to 1965, when the Bears pounded San Francisco 61-20.
In a game in which the Vikings posted impressive offensive numbers and made a number of key defensive plays with the outcome still in doubt, this was a game that can only be viewed as embarrassing … and record-setting.
GAME DAY NOTES
For those who were wondering when Rufus Alexander was promoted to the active roster, it came over the weekend. The team waived Erin Henderson and promoted Alexander from the practice squad.
The Vikings dominated most of the team statistics, but the only one that really mattered related to turnovers – the Vikings had five and the Bears had just one.
The Vikings dominated in total yardage, with a 439-327 edge over Chicago. The Vikings had 155 yards rushing on 32 carries and had 284 yards passing, while the Bears had just 53 yards rushing on 22 carries and 274 yards passing.
Neither team was good on third down – the Vikings converting on just four of 12 third downs and the Bears making good on just two of nine.
Coming into the game, the Bears had not allowed opponents to convert on five fourth-down attempts. That mark got shot down Sunday, as the Vikings converted on three of four fourth-down attempts.
The Bears were able to put up a lot of points without having the ball all that much. The Vikings had possession of the ball for 35 minutes and seven seconds, but the Bears managed to score 48 points while having the ball for just 24:53 of the game time.
Brad Childress is likely going to come under fire for the team's prevent kickoff plan that allowed three Chicago drives to start from beyond their own 40-yard line – where they would have started if the Vikings had simply kicked the ball out of bounds. There may just as much questioning the decision not to try an onside kick with 3:00 to play and the Vikings with two timeouts. The Bears were able to run the clock down to 1:06, get the Vikings to burn their remaining two timeouts and leave them with a long field, no timeouts and no two-minute warning.
The Vikings still don't have a 300-yard passing game in the Childress coaching era, but they're getting closer all the time. A week ago, Gus Frerotte was over 300 yards passing until he threw a swing pass to Adrian Peterson that was brought down for a 5-yard loss and dropped Frerotte's total to 296 yards. On Sunday, he completed 25 of 40 passes for 298 yards. He had two touchdowns, but will be remembered more for his four interceptions.
If there was something positive to take out of the game, it was the offense for the Vikings, which scored three TDs on five red zone possessions and all three in which they had a first-and-goal situation.
Chris Kluwe had his first punt attempt of the game blocked and returned for a touchdown. He never had another punt after that.
Kyle Orton was extremely efficient, completing 21 of 32 passes for 283 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He completed two or more passes to seven different receivers.
Adrian Peterson posted his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the season, rushing 22 times for 121 yards and two touchdowns. Through seven games, he has rushed 151 times for 684 yards and five TDs.
Chester Taylor got as much use as he has all season. Through six games, he had just 29 rushes and 12 receptions. Sunday he had 10 carries for 34 yards and a touchdown, and six receptions for 48 yards.
Bears rookie Matt Forte didn't live up to his end of the bargain in his first game head-to-head as the "other guy" in the matchup with A.D. Forte entered the game fifth in the league in total yards with 665 (459 rushing, 206 receiving). On Sunday, he had 20 carries for 56 yards and caught two passes for 17 – giving him a new total of 738 yards. Peterson entered the game sixth in the league with 619 total yards (563 rushing, 56 receiving). With his 121 rushing yards and one catch for nine yards, A.D. has surpassed Forte with 749 total yards.
On his 54-yard touchdown run in the third quarter, Peterson went over 2,000 yards rushing for his career. The 100-yard game was the 10th of his career. It moves him alone into third place on the all-time franchise list, behind only Robert Smith (29) and Chuck Foreman (17).
Four different Vikings receivers had four or more catches, led by Bernard Berrian with six for 81 yards and a touchdown. Taylor had six catches for 48 yards, Bobby Wade had five for 60 and Visanthe Shiancoe had four for 68 yards and a TD.
Berrian's 81 yards fell short of his third straight 100-yard receiving game, but he now has 28 receptions for 517 yards and three TDs. Last year, the Vikings had only player with more than 400 yards receiving – Wade with 647 yards. Berrian is on pace to have more than 1,100 receiving yards this year.
Wade continues to lead the Vikings in receptions with 30.
Sidney Rice did not have a reception. He came out during the first series and didn't return – leaving the Vikings a man short just minutes into the game.
Vikings fans were warned to beware of the tight ends for the Bears. Greg Olsen and Desmond Clark have been a dual threat in the Chicago passing game and have made big plays in linebacker coverage. Sunday was no exception, as the two combined to catch nine passes for 123 yards and a touchdown.
Marty Booker scored a 51-yard touchdown to save what had to that point been a pretty dismal day, dropping two touchdown passes in the end zone prior to making his big score.
What made the loss even more hard to swallow was that the Bears were without both of their starting cornerbacks – Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher – and safety Danieal Manning. Backup Corey Graham had eight tackles and an interception in the first half, and second-year safety Kevin Payne did most of his damage in the second half – finishing with nine tackles (eight solos), a sack and an interception.
Jared Allen had two sacks to give him five for the season, as well as a forced fumble.
Typically a big part of the run defense, Antoine Winfield had just one tackle Sunday.
Newcomer Napoleon Harris was credited with five tackles (four solos), but neither Dontarrious Thomas or Vinny Ciurciu (who got the start at MLB) was credited with a tackle.
Tight end Garrett Mills was injured in the fourth quarter. His status is unknown at this time, but it appeared as it if was a hip or leg injury.
The Bears went almost all of the second half without Devin Hester, who suffered a quadriceps injury on the opening kickoff of the second half and had the leg heavily wrapped the entire second half.
The play on which Hester was injured could have caused a huge momentum swing. The officials on the field ruled Hester fumbled the opening kickoff, which was recovered by the Vikings in the red zone. Bears coach Lovie Smith challenged and, although it was inconclusive if Hester was losing possession when he hit the ground, the call was overturned and the Bears kept possession. The Bears would drive down the field and score on the drive to take a 34-24 lead and have the Vikings on their heels the rest of the game.
Peterson topped 100 yards in the third quarter on his 54-yard TD run. It was the first 100-yard rusher allowed by the Bears this season.
The Vikings trailed 27-24 at halftime – only one other opponent (Tennessee with 30) had more than 27 points in an entire game.
Thanks to special teams gaffes, the Vikings dominated the stat sheet, but trailed. Minnesota had the ball for 18:01 of the half, outgained the Bears 222-137, had 69 rushing yards to just eight for Chicago and were two-for-three getting TDs in the red zone. Yet, they trailed at the half.
Frerotte completed 10 of 14 passes for 153 yards, a TD and an interception in the first half. Orton completed 13 of 20 passes for 129 yards and a touchdown.
Peterson dominated the first-half matchup with Forte. A.D. had 14 carries for 50 yards and a touchdown in the first half, while Forte had six carries for eight yards.
Berrian had four catches for 69 yards in the first half. He would have just two catches for 12 yards in the second half, but one of the catches was a touchdown.
On their final drive of the first half, the Vikings ran five consecutive plays that picked up first downs.
The extra point by Ryan Longwell that tied the game at 24-24 was the 1,300th point of his career. Through seven games, Longwell is among the league leaders in scoring with 62 points, including 11 on Sunday.
The Bears didn't punt until five minutes remained in the first half. As mentioned earlier, this Vikings didn't punt after Kluwe's kick was blocked in the first quarter.
The one red zone drive on which the Vikings didn't score in the first half was a drive that almost seemed like they were satisfied just to get in field goal range. The Vikings got to the 19-yard line and, on first down, Peterson was thrown for a 3-yard loss. On the next play, the Vikings called what looked like the same run, which went for a 4-yard loss. Trailing by three, instead of taking a shot for a first down or a touchdown, the Vikings ran on third-and-17. Taylor gained just two yards and the Vikings settled for a field goal.
The Vikings special teams has now been responsible for five opposition touchdowns.
The Vikings held the ball for 10:07 of the first quarter, but the quarter ended with the game tied and the Bears on the Vikings 9-yard line.
The Bears spent much of the game on offense in a no-huddle look that was effective almost the entire game.
Vikings opponents have scored on their first drive in four of the last five games – getting two touchdowns and two field goals.
The Vikings scored a touchdown on their first drive of the game for the first time this season. Through seven games, they have scored on their first drive twice – a touchdown Sunday and the first of five field goals against Indianapolis. Maybe it's not good luck – they're 3-2 when they don't score on the first drive and 0-2 when they do.
As is becoming the custom with a lot of coaches, the Bears won the opening coin toss and opted to defer – giving the Vikings the ball to start the game.