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Vikings-Bears Game Observations: Another 4th-Quarter Comeback

MINNEAPOLIS — The Vikings found their way back to the victory formation thanks to their third fourth-quarter comeback in as many weeks.

Cameron Dantzler, Sr., forced a fumble by Bears receiver and former teammate Ihmir Smith-Marsette and returned the ball 15 yards before sliding down to end the play and wrapping up a 29-22 win on Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The fumble lost was Chicago's first turnover of the day.

The Vikings offense then headed to victory formation to run out the clock.

Minnesota fell behind by a single point (22-21) to Chicago for the first time but rallied with a 17-play, 75-yard drive that lasted an even 7:00 of the fourth quarter.

Kirk Cousins put Minnesota back ahead with a 1-yard touchdown run — his first rushing score since Nov. 7, 2021, at Baltimore — and a 2-point conversion pass to Justin Jefferson.

The Vikings improved to 4-1 on the season.

Here are four more observations presented by Minnesota Eye Consultants, the Proud LASIK Partner of the Minnesota Vikings, followed by a scoring summary:

1. Kirktober in full effect to start game

Kirk Cousins completed his first 17 passes of the game, totaling 176 yards, before he had to throw a pass away under pressure.

The start included a 1-yard pass to Jalen Reagor for a 21-3 lead with 7:20 remaining in the first half.

Cousins' consecutive completions streak extended to 19 when including his final two passes of Week 4 in London.

His 17 in a row to start a game tied for the fifth-longest streak by an NFL QB since 2000, according to Elias Sports Bureau.

Philip Rivers set the record with 25 in a row out of the gate with the Chargers in Week 12 of 2018.

Cousins finished 32-of-41 passing for 296 yards with one touchdown pass, an interception and a passer rating of 94.7.

2. Struggles on specials

One week after one of the best games by the Vikings special teams in recent memory, the group struggled through multiple situations.

Kicker Greg Joseph went 0-for-2 on kicks, sending a 53-yarder wide right and having a 51-yard kick blocked.

Punter Ryan Wright also shanked his lone punt of the day, a 15-yarder that went out of bounds. The Vikings committed a hold during the attempt, so the play netted 5 after the penalty was added to the end of the kick.

Minnesota did recover an onside kick the Bears tried early in the third quarter.

3. Jefferson posts another big one

Jefferson continued his streak of strong games against the Bears.

He caught a career-best 12 passes for 154 yards, boosting his career totals against Chicago to 37 receptions for 547 yards in just five games.

Jefferson did the brunt of his damage in the first half with 10 catches for 138 yards.

4. Woeful third quarter

The Vikings dominated statistically in the first half and in the final tally.

Minnesota earned 29 first downs, compared to 14 by Chicago.

The Vikings converted 12 of 15 third downs and only allowed four conversions on 10 attempts by the Bears.

Yardage? Minnesota won 429 to 271.

Time of possession? The Vikings held the ball for 36:44.

All of that, however, was almost undone by a woeful third quarter in which Chicago outscored Minnesota 9-0 and had the ball for more than 11 minutes.

Scoring summary

Q1, 8:15 remaining

Vikings 7, Bears 0

Dalvin Cook rushes for 1 yard (Greg Joseph kicks PAT) [12 plays, 86 yards, 6:45 time of possession]

Smooth sailing: The Vikings picked up five first downs and only faced one third down, picking up a third-and-3 with a 6-yard completion to K.J. Osborn.

Q1, 6:06 remaining

Vikings 7, Bears 3

Cairo Santos kicks a 50-yard field goal [6 plays, 43 yards, 2:09 time of possession]

Short toss, big gain: David Montgomery accounted for most of the yardage by turning a short pass from Justin Fields into a 30-yard gain on Chicago's first play from scrimmage.

Q2, 14:55 remaining

Vikings 14, Bears 3

Cook rushes for 5 yards (Joseph kicks PAT) [11 plays, 75 yards, 6:11 time of possession]

Motoring on: The Vikings kept the chains moving with seven plays that gained 6 or more yards and only faced one third down (third-and-2).

Q2, 7:20 remaining

Vikings 21, Bears 3

Jalen Reagor catches a 1-yard pass from Cousins (Joseph kicks PAT) [9 plays, 71 yards, 6:17 time of possession]

Razzle dazzle: The score was nifty, but the drive also featured a 23-yard pass from Justin Jefferson to Cook. Jefferson fielded a lateral from Cousins on the left side before firing the ball back across the field to Cook.

Q2, 1:08 remaining

Vikings 21, Bears 10

Montgomery rushes for 9 yards (Santos kicks PAT) [4 plays, 50 yards, 0:46 time of possession]

To Mooney: Chicago opened its drive with a 39-yard reception to Darnell Mooney.

Q3, 10:24 remaining

Vikings 21, Bears 16

Velus Jones Jr. catches a 9-yard pass from Fields (Fields conversion pass to Dante Pettis complete but tackled shy of end zone by Cameron Dantzler, Sr.) [8 plays, 67 yards, 4:36 time of possession]

Q3, 1:05 remaining

Vikings 21, Bears 19

Santos kicks a 43-yard field goal [11 plays, 34 yards, 6:29 time of possession]

Rewarded for fourth-down conversion: The Bears overcame a holding penalty that gave them a first-and-20 at their own 47 thanks to gaining 8 with a pass from Fields to tight end Cole Kmet on third-and-12. Chicago then converted fourth-and-4 with a 7-yard scramble by Fields.

View pregame photos from the Vikings-Bears Week 5 game on Oct. 9 at U.S. Bank Stadium

Q4, 9:26 remaining

Bears 22, Vikings 21

Santos kicks a 51-yard field goal [7 plays, 19 yards, 3:18 time of possession]

Momentum shift: The Bears took their first lead with a short drive that followed Kindle Vildor's interception of Kirk Cousins. Vildor returned the ball 18 yards to the Chicago 48-yard line.

Q4, 2:26 remaining

Vikings 29, Bears 22

Cousins rushes for 1 yard (Cousins conversion pass to Jefferson succeeds) [17 plays, 75 yards, 7:00 time of possession]

Five thirds: The Vikings converted five third downs during the long drive. Alexander Mattison picked up a third-and-1 with a gain of 2 and a third-and-8 with an 11-yard pass from Cousins. Irv Smith, Jr., added a 13-yard reception on a third-and-4. Cousins scrambled for a gain of 5 on third-and-5 to the 15 six plays before reaching the paint.