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3 Stats That Stood Out: Bears at Vikings

The Vikings lost to the Bears 24-10 in the regular-season finale, a decision that knocked Minnesota out of the playoffs.

The offense stumbled out of the gate and never hit its stride, and the defense allowed an early tone-setting touchdown and an uncharacteristically high number of conversions on third downs.

The result of not being able to handle their final order of business or get help from other teams is that Minnesota's players will clean out there lockers at 9 a.m. Monday before the calendar flips to 2019.

Here are three stats that stood out.

1. 1-for-11 vs. 8-for-14

The Vikings converted just one of 11 third downs for a paltry success rate of 9.1 percent.

The only time that Minnesota moved the chains on a third-down play (without a penalty on Chicago) was a 3-yard run by Dalvin Cook on third-and-1 in the second quarter.

That drive, however, stalled three plays later when an 8-yard scramble on third-and-6 was negated by a holding penalty on Mike Remmers.

The Vikings were unable to convert third-and-6, third-and-3, third-and-10 or third-and-11 in the second half. Minnesota went 1-for-4 on fourth downs, converting a fourth-and-1 during its touchdown drive in the third quarter.

The Bears went 8-for-14 on third downs for a success rate of 57.1 percent that was more than double the 28.2 allowance rate by the Vikings in their first 15 games of 2018. Minnesota finished the season atop the NFL with a third-down allowance rate of 30.5 percent (58 of 190).

2. 37 to 15

The Bears were able to run the ball as much as they pleased, carrying the ball 37 times for 169 yards (4.6 yards per carry).

Chicago set the tone up front by getting good push from its offensive line and good penetration by its defensive line.

Jordan Howard set the tone on his first two carries. He gained 7 on Chicago's first snap when the Bears lined up reserve offensive lineman Bradley Sowell at fullback (FB Michael Burton was inactive). Howard ripped a 42-yarder on the next play when the Bears caught the Vikings out of a gap.

The Vikings never established the ground game and had to abandon it because they were down two scores midway through the fourth quarter.

Minnesota opened the game with three consecutive passes and quickly punted.

Head Coach Mike Zimmer said the plan was to have two passes and get a first down, but Cousins didn't have an option on a play-action pass and threw the ball out of bounds to avoid a sack by Leonard Floyd.

The Vikings finished with 15 rush attempts for 63 yards (4.2), carrying the ball one more time than they had in the previous game against the Bears.

3. 8:33 in the first and fourth quarter

The inability of Minnesota's offense to stay on the field by converting third downs, combined with the defense not getting off the field, led to the Vikings having the ball for just 8:33 in the first and fourth quarters combined.

That was barely longer than the Vikings longest drive of the season, a 7:35 possession that ended with a touchdown in the third quarter.

The score brought the Vikings within three at 13-10 with 1:51 remaining in the third quarter, but the Bears answered with a touchdown drive that lasted 9:05.

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