MINNEAPOLIS – Justin Trattou smelled a screen pass in the works.
He backpedaled, secured the floating pass for an interception and joined other Vikings defensive linemen who made an impact Sunday against the Bears in a 38-17 win.
Trattou's interception early in the fourth quarter further strengthened the Vikings' momentum in the game and led to a three-play drive that culminated in Teddy Bridgewater's 12-yard rush for a touchdown.
"I saw everyone go behind me. I felt the screen and dropped back a little bit, and [Bears quarterback Jay Cutler] threw the ball up and I get it," Trattou said of the play. "I was trying to find the back but I didn't have time to find him, so I looked into the quarterback's eyes and I saw where he was throwing it."
The pick was Trattou's second this year, which ties the franchise record for most interceptions by a defensive lineman in one season. Jared Allen ('10), Kevin Williams ('07) and Tim Newton ('85) also recorded two in one season.
View game action images from Sunday's contest against the Bears.
"You know, I just go out there and play my keys and play as hard as I can, and I let the chips fall where they may," Trattou said. "When the play comes to me, I'm going to make it, and that's been my philosophy since day one."
Veteran defensive end Brian Robison blended humor with a compliment of Trattou's performance.
"I'm starting to think we need to put him in coverage more," Robison said. "That's just the thing about our unit – we have so many guys that I think can play some good ball, and you see a guy like Tratt' come in there, and he really hasn't gotten a lot of playing time this year, and he's making splash plays for us."
What makes Trattou's pair of interceptions even more impressive is that he has only been on the active roster for three games this season and was temporarily released on Dec. 8 so the Vikings could bolster their depth at safety before visiting the Cardinals.
While Trattou had the opportunity to work out with another team, he felt confident that he would regain a role with the Vikings. On Dec. 14, the Vikings re-signed him to the active roster, and he made it count Sunday.
For Trattou, it's all about working hard and helping this team find wins.
"I felt like this was the place for me," Trattou said. "Business is business, and you're never going to like when something like that happens, but it all worked out – I'm back, the team's winning, and we're in the [playoff] hunt. So it's all good."