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5 Takeaways: Dan Bailey Ends 2019 Season Perfect at U.S. Bank Stadium

MINNEAPOLIS — The Vikings might be going on the road for the playoffs, but there was no place like home for Dan Bailey in 2019.

The Vikings kicker made all five of his kicks Sunday in Week 17, as he was true on an extra point and four field goals from 34, 37, 38 and 39 yards.

Bailey's pristine day meant he finished the 2019 season perfect at U.S. Bank Stadium.

He went 14-for-14 on field goals and 21-for-21 on extra points in his second season in the venue that opened in 2016.

On the season, Bailey made 27 of 29 field goals for a success percentage of 93.1, which was the fourth-highest of his career. He was also good on 40 of 44 extra points.

Bailey, who has been the NFC Special Teams Player of the Week three different times in 2019, made four field goals in a game for the fourth time this season.

The kicker formed a reliable trio with rookie long snapper Austin Cutting and punter/holder Britton Colquitt.

Colquitt also ended his season on a high note, as he did not record a touchback on 62 punts in 2019.

Here are four more takeaways from Sunday:

1. Vikings CBs active near the line of scrimmage

The Vikings were burned by screen passes against the Packers in Week 16, as Green Bay used the quick passes essentially as run plays to pick up 5-plus yards on short and high-percentage throws.

Minnesota's cornerbacks got the message over the past week, and snuffed out multiple short passes by Chicago on Sunday.

The tone was set early when cornerback Mackensie Alexander stopped a screen to Tarik Cohen for a 1-yard loss late in the first quarter. This came after Alexander made a nice tackle on a short pass on third-and-7 earlier in the quarter to hold the Bears to a field goal try.

Mike Hughes later got in on the action as he tackled Chicago's Javon Wims for no gain on another attempted screen pass.

Kris Boyd later tackled Allen Robinson for a 3-yard loss in the third quarter on a screen pass. Holton Hill also showed up in the run game as he brought down Cohen for a 1-yard loss on a run.

It was a good showing for Minnesota's young secondary, as they held Trubisky to just 207 passing yards on 37 passes, good for just 5.6 yards per attempt.

2. 6 starters take the field

The Vikings did indeed rest the majority of their starters and key players Sunday in a game that could not affect Minnesota's playoff seeding.

Alexander Mattison, Dalvin Cook, Eric Kendricks, Anthony Barr, Riley Reiff, Brian O'Neill and Shamar Stephen were the inactive players for Minnesota.

Other players such as Kirk Cousins, Adam Thielen, Stefon Diggs and Kyle Rudolph did not play on offense. Defensively, the likes of Everson Griffen, Linval Joseph, Harrison Smith, Anthony Harris and Xavier Rhodes watched from the sidelines.

Minnesota played a total of six starters (three on each side of the ball). The interior of the offensive line — guards Pat Elflein and Josh Kline, along with rookie center Garrett Bradbury — played three series.

That trio was later replaced, from left to right, by Aviante Collins, Dakota Dozier and Dru Samia.

Alexander, Danielle Hunter and Eric Wilson started on defense, but Hunter was in for just one play before coming out. Alexander could be counted as a seventh starter, since he is the Vikings starter at nickel in their sub package.

3. Turnovers hurt offense early — By Lindsey Young

Things can certainly change from one play to another.

Running back Mike Boone rumbled for 59 yards on the Vikings first play of the game; on the second, however, a bobbled pitch from Sean Mannion was recovered by Bears DT Bilal Nichols. Minnesota's second possession of the day also was cut short. On the third play, Boone was unable to hang onto a pass by Mannion, and the ball was intercepted by LB Kevin Pierre-Louis. Both first quarter turnovers led to field goals by the Bears for an early 6-0 lead over the Vikings.

Minnesota's offense did find more of a groove later in the game, but sloppy play early in the contest played mostly with Vikings reserves kept the home team off balance.

A second interception was credited to Mannion on the final play of the day, when he heaved up a last-ditch-effort Hail Mary as time expired.

4. Safety results from multiple factors — By Craig Peters

The Vikings suffered a safety in the second quarter, and the 2-point play wound up providing the nudge the Bears needed to come out on top.

The play was the result of a solid special teams play and a good play by the Bears defense and a considerable amount of change on the offensive line.

Minnesota put Chicago in a disadvantageous third-and-17, then forced a punt form the Bears 42-yard line.

Pat O'Donnell uncorked a 57-yard punt that was downed by Deon Bush at the Minnesota 1-yard line.

Punt returner Mike Hughes lined up at about the 15 on the play in the middle of the field. The ball traveled outside the hashmark and bounced at the 6, taking a Sunday hop that Bush easily gathered.

Minnesota opted to replace its opening combination of offensive linemen (Collins at LT, Elflein at LG, Bradbury at C, Kline at RG and Rashod Hill at RT) on its fourth series.

The Vikings moved Hill to LT and Collins to RT. Dakota Dozier entered the game at C, and rookies Dru Samia and Olisaemeka Udoh came in at right guard and right tackle, respectively, for their first offensive snaps of 2019.

Minnesota lined up and handed off to Boone, but Bears LB Nick Kwiatkoski read the play, surged up unblocked and tackled Boone.

It was the first safety taken by Minnesota since Oct. 9, 2017, at Chicago. Bears LB Leonard Floyd sacked Sam Bradford for that 2-pointer.

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