MINNEAPOLIS — This one is going to hurt for a while … certainly well into the offseason.
The Vikings saw their playoff hopes take a big hit Sunday, as Minnesota fell 33-27 at home against Chicago. The Vikings dropped to 6-8 on the season.
Minnesota's defense allowed 397 yards to Chicago, but got a timely pick from Cameron Dantzler in the end zone to give the Vikings offense a chance.
The Vikings offense had two total chances to complete the comeback, but couldn't do so either time. The game ended with Kirk Cousins being intercepted in the end zone on a pass attempt from the Chicago 33-yard line.
While it was a mostly productive day for the Vikings offense, the unit settled for pair of short field goals on two of four opportunities in the red zone that also included goal-to-go situations.
View game action photos as the Vikings take on the Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium for Week 15.
The Bears improved to 7-7 and leapfrogged the Vikings in the NFC playoff picture. Minnesota has now lost three straight home games to Chicago at U.S. Bank Stadium.
The Vikings slim playoff hopes now rest with Minnesota winning out, plus getting help along the way.
Minnesota is at New Orleans at Christmas Day in Week 16.
Here are four more takeaways from Sunday afternoon:
1. Vikings can't convert on pair of fourth-and-1 calls
The Vikings went for it twice in their own territory on fourth-and-1 and failed to convert both times.
The second try was a crucial one, as Minnesota trailed 30-27 with exactly two minutes to go. Facing fourth-and-1 at their own 29, the Vikings tried a play-action pass that was covered well, leading to an incomplete pass.
The Bears kicked a field goal to go up by six, and the Vikings last-gasp score didn't materialize.
In the second quarter, the Vikings had fourth-and-1 at their own 34, and were stuffed short on a Cook rushing attempt.
That sequence led to a Chicago field goal.
2. Bailey gets back on track
The Vikings stuck with Dan Bailey as their kicker Sunday, and he responded with a strong bounce-back effort.
The 10-year veteran had missed seven kicks in the past two games (three extra points and four field goals), but he was perfect on all five attempts against the Bears.
He nailed all three extra points and also hit a pair of short field goals (22 and 24 yards) to help put points on the board.
3. Conklin shines again
A week ago, Tyler Conklin set a career-high with five catches to total 40 yards against the Buccaneers.
The tight end hit another milestone Sunday, as he caught his first-career touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.
The Vikings trailed 30-20 with just over eight minutes left when Conklin took a short pass and turned on the motors. He evaded a defender and eventually powered his way into the end zone for the score.
Conklin finished with three catches for 57 yards.
4. Jefferson keeps up historic rookie season
Justin Jefferson keeps climbing in the Vikings rookie record books.
The 2020 first-round pick hauled in eight catches for 104 yards on Sunday.
He now has 73 catches on the season, and surpassed Randy Moss' rookie record of 69 that was set in 1998.
Jefferson also recorded his sixth 100-yard game of the season, which bettered his own rookie record.
He now has 73 catches for 1,182 yards and seven scores in 2020. Moss had 69 receptions for 1,313 yards and 17 touchdowns in 1998.