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Monday Morning Mailbag: Sunday's Loss A Microcosm Of The Season

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Such a disappointing loss. Why do you think the Bears played so aggressively in that game? They went for it on 4th down, they went for a two-point conversion, they kept their starters in the entire game. Why? Is this a bigger rivalry for them than it is for us? Do you think that the Vikings bought in to the media hype that Nagy would pull players at the half? Or maybe the Bears didn't want to play the Vikings next week and like their chances with the Eagles? Just curious...looking for solace. Skol
-- Lisa Halim

Chicago had a lot for which to play. A win paired with a Los Angeles Rams loss would've earned the Bears the No. 2 seed and a first-round bye. I'm certain they analyzed the scenario last Sunday night or Monday morning and decided at that time they would prepare all week and play on Sunday to win the game, even if the odds of the Rams losing to San Francisco were slim. Give credit to Chicago for their mindset, their game plan and their execution. They played like a team that won its division and is capable of winning the Super Bowl.

Without taking anything away from the Bears, who played very well, I had that feeling when the score was 7-0 and we held them on a 3rd down with an incomplete pass only to see a roughing the passer penalty against Stephen Weatherly. That kept the Bears on the field and they moved in for their second touchdown. That was a microcosm of the year, which ended with us half a game out of the playoffs.
-- Brad Lewis

I agree that Sunday's loss in the season finale was somewhat of a microcosm of how the entire season went. The offense struggled to generate much consistently and the defense was mostly great but had a few lapses here and there, especially early in the game and then on 3rd downs during a key series in the 4th quarter. There's no doubt that roughing the passer penalty on Weatherly was significant, as was the holding penalty that negated a Kirk Cousin scramble for 1st down in the second half and a defensive holding penalty that negated a sack of Mitchell Trubisky in the second half. The Bears were penalized more often than the Vikings, but the Vikings penalties were momentum-changers.

This game was lost in the trenches. If the front office doesn't take necessary action to bulk up the offensive line group, we are in for the same next season.
-- Pete Westmoreland

There is no area of the team that can look in the mirror and declare they don't need to perform better going forward. With that being said, improvement along the offensive line will be a focus of the organization and of everyone who follows the organization this offseason. Chicago's defensive front is one of the best in the NFL and they showed that against the Vikings on Sunday.

How, when the playoffs are in sight, can a team come out so flat?
-- Bruce Taylor

It was disheartening to see the Vikings begin the game the way they did. Going three-and-out on offense and then surrendering a six-play, 71-yard touchdown drive put the Vikings in a hole that turned out to be too deep. The Vikings didn't achieve a 1st down on offense until well into the 2nd quarter and the defense struggled to stop the Bears rushing attack and get off the field on 3rd down. More so than pinpointing the Vikings for starting flat, credit should be given to the Bears for coming into U.S. Bank Stadium dead set on executing well and then going out and executing well.

Trying to get over the feeling of such high hopes for this season not being fulfilled. I turn 60 next month and have lived in California all my life. No matter what has happened, I am a loyal Vikings fan and that will never change. We have had great teams in our history and at times it feels like our team is snake-bitten. But no matter what, a true Vikings fan will never change. Skol!
-- John McGuire
Lone Pine, CA

I feel your pain, John. The day your season ends is always difficult and it marks the beginning of a difficult period of time. Fortunately for fans, there is a next season and because of the NFL's setup every team has a chance every season. The Vikings will be no exception in 2019. As soon as this week, the Vikings will begin to digest the 2018 season and fully commence the process of gearing up for 2019. Vikings fans have been through a lot of heartache over the years and 2018 only added to it. Here's to a Happy New Year for you all and to great things for the Vikings in 2019! Skol!