EAGAN, Minn. – The Vikings defense has seemingly improved with each game this season, and Monday night's game was no exception.
Minnesota made plays on both sides of the ball en route to a 19-13 win at Chicago, but we focused on the defense for this week's "Filtered by the Fans" Twitter poll.
Fans were asked to choose their favorite among four defensive stops at Soldier Field: Harrison Smith's interception of Nick Foles, Smith's pass breakup against Allen Robinson II, D.J. Wonnum's sack of Foles or Eric Wilson's tipped pass.
More than 5,400 people voiced their opinions, and "The Hitman's" pick came out on top with 39.3 percent of the votes. The play barely edged out Smith's PBU, which earned 35.9 percent of votes.
Wonnum's second career sack received 18.9 percent, and Wilson's deflection received 5.9.
Smith discussed the interception postgame but declined to accept much credit for the takeaway that occurred on Chicago's second offensive snap of the night, calling it "nothing special."
"It was just doing my job, making a break when the ball was thrown," he said. "The corner, [Jeff Gladney], did a good job contesting it.
"I almost dropped it," Smith added. "I had to lock-in there for a second."
The interception marked Smith's third of the season and 26th career pick, which ranks seventh in Vikings history (third among safeties). The most interceptions he's ever had in a season is five, which he did in 2014 and 2017. Smith recorded three in 2018 and 2019.
He and Wilson currently are tied for the Vikings team lead with three picks apiece.
Against the Bears, Wilson's tipped pass on a throw intended for Anthony Miller forced a Bears three-and-punt, and he also had a third-down sack of Foles earlier in the game.
Wonnum's takedown of Foles also occurred on third down and forced Chicago to punt the ball away to start the fourth quarter. It wasn't quite as exhilarating as his Week 8 sack of Aaron Rodgers on the final play of the game, but it impacted the game nonetheless.
In the comments section beneath the Twitter poll, @andrwolsn said, "I feel like Harry's plays were a lot more entertaining in isolation while Wonnum's sack was [clutch]."
Another fan opined, "The pick was awesome, [but] the pass breakup was a better play," and Canadian Vikings fan Marke Driesschen's written-in vote was for "all of the above."
There's no doubt about it – however the votes fell, all four of the defensive stops helped the Vikings notch their third straight win, all of them over NFC North opponents. If Minnesota's defense keeps clicking down the stretch, the Vikings will keep things interesting.
"I would say the intangible is literally just the energy that we decide to bring … before we show up to whatever stadium it is," Smith said after Monday's game. "I think it's a goofy year for everybody, and we're starting to have a little bit of a feeling about how to make our own energy and our own confidence, so I think we're starting to figure it out a little bit."
Under Center with Kirk Cousins
Vikings QB Kirk Cousins is back again to team up with legendary sports anchor Mark Rosen to deliver unique content via "Under Center with Kirk Cousins." The series features conversations with current Vikings players, prominent Minnesotans and guests with personal connections to Kirk. Other segments will focus on game reaction with sound from press conferences and the locker room. Cousins and Rosen will also look ahead to the next week's matchup.