Skip to main content

News | Minnesota Vikings –

Nullified Takeaway Starts Frustrating Day for Vikings Defense

CHICAGO — Just six plays into the game, the Vikings defense made a game-changing play.

Danielle Hunter sacked Bears quarterback Mitchell Trubisky, forcing a fumble in the process that was recovered by Everson Griffen.

Despite kicking off to begin the game, it appeared the Vikings had possession at the Chicago 33-yard line with a chance to score first and quiet the crowd.

But some 30 yards away, a yellow penalty flag rested on the Soldier Field grass. It provided notification that a hold on safety Anthony Harris negated the turnover.

Although Trubisky was injured when he hit the turf and did not return, it was the beginning of a frustrating day for the Vikings defense. The Minnesota unit yielded early but rallied later in what finished as a 16-6 win by Chicago.

"It was tough. Key turnover right there, and we get a holding penalty, which was a little bit uncharacteristic," Harris said. "I kind of got my hands on him, and I guess they called holding."

"It definitely hurt. That's a turnover, a change of possession," Harris added. "Anytime you get any penalties, it hurts your team and gives up yardage. In that case, it gave up the turnover."

Instead of the Vikings having possession, Chicago kept the ball with a first down just short of midfield.

With Trubisky hurt on the play, the Bears turned to Chase Daniel at quarterback. He helped cap off Chicago's opening drive with a 10-yard touchdown pass to running back Tarik Cohen, a play that completed a 14-play, 75-yard drive for Chicago that ate up almost half of the first quarter.

Daniel completed 22 of 30 passes for 195 yards and a touchdown with no interceptions. His passer rating was 101.4.

The Vikings said there wasn't much change in Chicago's style when Daniel came in, but the defense said it was a lack of execution on their part.

"They did kind of the same thing, honestly," said linebacker Eric Kendricks. "A lot of RPOs, quick passing game, running the ball. It wasn't too complex, honestly."

Added Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer: "We had to change some things, but he played in about four games last year, and we saw him a lot on tape."

The Bears added a field goal on the final play of the second quarter, as Chicago pushed its lead to 10-0 with a 16-play drive that went 72 yards in 6:36.

Chicago scored on two of its three first-half possessions, as the Bears ran 38 total plays for 182 yards in the opening two quarters.

View game action images as the Vikings took of the Bears at Soldier Field on Sunday.

Minnesota's offense, meanwhile, had two possessions in the first half. The Vikings tallied 59 yards on 21 plays.

Chicago converted four of its eight third-down tries in the opening half.

"I feel like we beat ourselves with penalties, didn't get off the field on third downs," Kendricks said.

Added Vikings defensive end Stephen Weatherly: "We were beating ourselves; that's what that was. It wasn't anything the Bears were doing … they weren't doing anything extraordinary. We weren't executing the way we're known to execute."

Minnesota allowed 269 total yards on the day, 182 of which came in the first half.

The Vikings bottled up the Bears over the final two quarters, allowing just a pair of field goals, one of which came when Chicago started at the Vikings 16-yard line.

Still, the effort wasn't enough in a loss that dropped the Vikings to 2-2 overall. Minnesota is 0-2 on the road, with both losses coming in the NFC North.

"The second half was a lot better than the first," Zimmer said. "We made some adjustments like we always do, but the first half, we didn't play, like I said, I didn't feel like we were up on the guys, tight enough, so they had some completions to guys that were short routes that kept the drives going but didn't really affect things other than that."