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Stats That Stood Out: Vikings-Bears

The Vikings only played six starters (seven if nickel cornerback Mackensie Alexander is included) on Sunday in their regular-season finale against the Bears.

Young players took advantage of Head Coach Mike Zimmer's decision to rest most starters and made a game of it after early mistakes, but Minnesota fell 21-19 to Chicago on a late field goal. Dan Bailey scored 13 of the Vikings points, finishing 2019 perfect on kicks at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Since the game had no impact on the Vikings postseason status, the team quickly directed its attention to its mindset entering the playoffs. The Vikings (10-6) are the No. 6 seed in the NFC Playoffs and will visit No. 3 seed New Orleans (13-3) at 12:05 p.m. (CT) Sunday for a Wild Card game.

If you want to look even farther ahead, the Vikings 2020 opponents were finalized on Sunday night when Seattle lost to San Francisco.

View game action photos as the Vikings take on the Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium during the last game of the regular season.

We'll have plenty of coverage on Vikings-Saints this week, but before that, here are three stats that stood out in the regular-season finale against the Bears:

1. Big run out of the gate

Mike Boone opened his second career start with an immediate up and down.

In just one play — a 59-yarder around the left side of the line — Boone set a new single-game career high in rushing.

According to Next Gen Stats, Boone reached 20.19 miles per hour, the 14th-fastest time by a ball carrier in Week 17, and the 74.1 yards he traveled during the gain ranked as the 11th-longest play.

Boone would have housed it if not for incredible hustle by safety Eddie Jackson, who came from across the field and traveled a total of 67.4 yards to catch Boone at the Chicago 16-yard line.

Jackson's commitment was rewarded on the following snap when Boone bobbled a toss from Sean Mannion, and Bears defensive tackle Bilal Nichols recovered the fumble.

View pregame images as the Vikings take on the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.

2. Lightning quick

Ifeadi Odenigbo nearly made the play of the game for the second time in three weeks. He recorded a sack fumble, scooped the ball and returned it 23 yards for a touchdown.

A review, however, confirmed that Odenigbo's knee was down when contact was made by a Bears offensive lineman.

Instead of going up by four, five or even six points, the Vikings settled for a field goal three plays later and a 19-18 lead with 4:53 left in the game.

Odenigbo's sack did stand out among those across the league in Week 17 because it was recorded in 2.5 seconds, which tied with Logan Ryan for the fastest sack.

Eric Wilson also landed with a time in the top 20 in Week 17, recording his takedown of Mitchell Trubisky in 3.57 seconds (19th-fastest). 

3. Turnovers and time of possession

Vikings reserves mostly faced Bears first-teamers, so one could assume that the scales would be tipped in Chicago's favor.

It didn't seem to be as much about who but about what that factored into the outcome.

Two categories that are fairly consistent in determining any football game/correlating to a victory are turnover margin and time of possession.

The fumble on the toss run play wound up being one of two turnovers in the Vikings first five offensive plays.

The early miscues resulted in Minnesota having the football for just 2:53 of the first quarter and trailing 6-0.

Mannion's desperation heave on the final play of the game also was intercepted, so Minnesota finished the day minus-2 in turnover margin. Chicago continued to do well in time of possession throughout the game, winning the category 37:40 to 22:20.

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