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Vikings Defense Stymies Mitchell Trubisky, Bears On MNF



CHICAGO — It wasn't pretty and might have been a little gritty, but the Vikings defense will take it nonetheless.

On a night when the Vikings scored a 20-17 win at Soldier Field, it was one of the league's top units that led the way.

"We came up big," said Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen. "We fought for four quarters, and it wasn't pretty.

"But it's a great win on the road, a big win on the road," Griffen added.

Minnesota moved to 3-2 overall and 1-1 in the division behind a defense that allowed just a single score all night.

Chicago scored 17 points, but the Vikings were sacked on offense for a safety.  The Bears first touchdown came on a fake punt.

The Vikings allowed less than 300 total yards for the second straight week, limited Chicago to 274 yards of offense.

Minnesota, which entered the game as the NFL's top unit on third down, stymied the Bears by allowing them to convert on just three of 12 opportunities.

"This team is going to fight no matter what," said Vikings safety Harrison Smith. "It wasn't pretty but we got the win.

"That's all we care about," Smith added. 

Smith and Griffen provided the big plays of the night.

The Vikings safety intercepted Bears rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky with just over two minutes remaining to set up Kai Forbath's game-winning, 26-yard field goal with 12 seconds left.

"He makes big plays in clutch situations and has been doing it for a while," said Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo. "Whenever Harry does something like that at the end of the game … you expect it out of him so it's like, 'Oh, that's Harry just doing what he does.' We still get juiced, but that's just Harry."

Griffen gave the Vikings offense prime field position in the first half as the Vikings took a lead they wouldn't relinquish.

Griffen sped around the left side of the offensive line and strip-sacked Trubisky. Defensive tackle Linval Joseph landed on the ball at the 13-yard line.

That led to a 26-yard field goal by Forbath that gave Minnesota a 3-2 halftime lead. 

"Honestly and truthfully, I couldn't do it without the front four guys on the D-line," Griffen said. "It's a blessing, and we're out there doing it together and as one.

"They were getting the ball out quick with the rookie quarterback and weren't letting us rush like we wanted to, but we came out with the victory on the road."

The Vikings limited Trubisky to just 128 passing yards in his NFL debut and forced him into a pair of turnovers. Trubisky completed 12 of 25 passes for a passer rating of 60.1.

Chicago used a variety of plays to get the athletic Trubisky out in space, but the Vikings defense was well-prepared for it.

"He did a lot of boots, play actions, hard runs, so we had to respect it because they're a good running team," said Vikings linebacker Eric Kendricks. "But I felt that we played good … we read our keys and ran to the ball."

Added Smith: "You can only watch the film that's out there. We did that and anticipated him on [bootlegs] and things like that. He had a few wrinkles here and there."

But on a night that Vikings won for just the third time in 17 tries in Chicago, Minnesota's defense didn't care how they got the job done.

What mattered was that they did.

"Not the prettiest game, but we'll take it," Kendricks said. "It's a division win, in Chicago, it's always hard to win here."

Added Sendejo: "(We got) a win and a win on the road and a win in the division. All plusses." 

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