Bears to face Eagles in playoffs after dispatching Vikings

The Chicago Bears met the challenge head-on Sunday afternoon in Minneapolis.  With little to play for after the Rams jumped out to a big early lead on the 49’ers, the Bears demonstrated the gritty resolve they’ve displayed all season en route to a well-earned 24-10 victory over the Vikings.

Chicago finishes the regular season at 12-4 and prepares to welcome the defending Super Bowl champion Philadelphia Eagles next Sunday at Soldier Field.  Meanwhile, the Vikings, pre-season favorites as a possible Super Bowl team, miss the playoffs and conclude a disappointing year at 8-7-1.

The Bears stifling defense and some opportunistic big plays offensively keyed the victory against Minnesota. Chicago’s aggressive attack unit dropped Vikes quarterback Kirk Cousins four times and held a normally potent Minnesota offense to just 12 first downs and 164 total yards.

On the other side of the ball, the Bears took control from the outset, grinding out 169 yards rushing on 37 attempts and three touchdowns.  Jordan Howard posted his first 100-yard game of the season, gashing the Vikings defense for 109-yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries.  Tarik Cohen ran for the other score, a three-yard run that capped off a dominating 16 play, 75-yard drive that chewed up over nine minutes.

Bears quarterback Mitch Trubisky was steady. He completed 18-of-26 passes for 163 yards, smoothly guiding the Chicago offense in a hostile atmosphere and playing without top receiving target Allen Robinson. Trubisky’s growth reflects the impact of head coach Matt Nagy’s positive coaching style and approach.

Extra Points: The Bears finished with their most wins since their NFC Championship team in 2006 that went 13-3…Chicago was won nine of its last ten contests…The Bears swept Minnesota for the first time since 2011….G Kyle Long saw action for the first time since injuring his ankle against the Jets on October 28.  Long played the first half before retreating to the sideline in favor of Bryan Witzmann….K Cody Parkey’s season-long struggles continued.  He missed one extra point and nearly another. He did, however, boot a 42-yard field goal…..OLB Leonard Floyd and ILB Roquan Smith led the team with eight tackles and six stops, unofficially…WR’s Anthony Miller and Taylor Gabriel left with minor shoulder and rib injuries.

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