View game action photos as the Vikings take on the Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium during the last game of the regular season.
MINNEAPOLIS — Call it a pre-postseason game.
The Vikings rested most starters on offense and defense in Week 17's regular-season finale against the Bears and made it competitive but lost 21-19 on a 22-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining.
The game had no influence on Minnesota's standing as the No. 6 seed in the NFC Playoffs. The Vikings (10-6) will visit the to-be-determined No. 3 seed.
Head Coach Mike Zimmer opted to start Sean Mannion in place of Kirk Cousins at QB. Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs also did not play. Kyle Rudolph kept his starts streak going (81 games) but left quickly.
Zimmer's decision to go with Mannion meant Cousins' starts streak ended. He could have become the first QB in Vikings history to start all 16 games of consecutive seasons (the NFL went to a 16-game season in 1978).
Minnesota clearly was focused on trying to be as healthy as possible for the playoffs.
Garrett Bradbury became the first Vikings rookie center to start all 16 games of a season. The Vikings went with their starters on the interior, with Bradbury flanked by Pat Elflein at left guard and Josh Kline at right guard. Aviante Collins started at left tackle in place of Riley Reiff at left tackle, and Rashod Hill opened at right tackle in place of Brian O'Neill.
Danielle Hunter started but left the game after one play. Everson Griffen and Linval Joseph dressed but did not play.
Mannion's first start in Purple ended with him completing 12 of 21 passes for 126 yards. He was charged two interceptions — one after a bobble by Mike Boone and another on a desperation heave on the final play of the game.
Boone rushed for career highs of 17 carries for 148 yards and scored Minnesota's lone touchdown, but he had an up-and-down play.
Boone ripped a 59-yarder on the first snap of the game, but he followed by bobbling a toss on a run play. Bilal Nichols recovered the fumble for the Bears.
Dan Bailey provided the Vikings other 13 points of the game with four field goals and an extra point. He finished 2019 perfect at home, going 14-for-14 on field goals and 21-for-21 on extra points.
David Montgomery led the Bears (8-8) with 113 yards on 23 rushes. He scored Chicago's only touchdown.
Q1, 7:41 remaining
Bears 3, Vikings 0
Eddy Piñeiro kicks a 26-yard field goal [12 plays, 69 yards, 6:34 time of possession]
Key tackle: Mackensie Alexander stopped Anthony Miller with a nice open-field tackle after a short pass on third-and-7 to force the field goal.
Q1, 0:44 remaining
Bears 6, Vikings 0
Piñeiro kicks a 33-yard field goal [10 plays, 24 yards, 5:33 time of possession]
Another turnover, another FG: The Bears responded to their second takeaway of the day with another field goal. Mike Boone bobbled a short pass from Sean Mannion, and linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis corralled the tip and returned the ball 1 yard to the Minnesota 39-yard line. Boone also was unable to gather a toss from Mannion on the Vikings second play of the day. The fumble was charged to Mannion, and the Bears followed with their first scoring drive.
Q2, 9:17 remaining
Bears 6, Vikings 3
Dan Bailey kicks a 37-yard field goal [14 plays, 56 yards, 6:27 time of possession]
A pair of thirds: The Vikings drive included a pair of completions to convert third downs. Alexander Hollins recorded his first career reception on an 11-yard pass from Mannion, and Bisi Johnson added a 14-yard reception three plays later to move the ball across midfield.
Q2, 6:03 remaining
Bears 8, Vikings 3
Boone is tackled in end zone for a safety [1 play, minus-1 yard, 0:08 time of possession]
Into the game: Nick Kwiatkoski surged through the line unblocked on the first snap that the Vikings had shifted their offensive line.
Q2, 1:51 remaining
Bears 11, Vikings 3
Piñeiro kicks a 34-yard field goal [9 plays, 51 yards, 4:12 time of possession]
Yeah, Boyd: Kris Boyd had a nice tackle for loss of Tarik Cohen on a second-and-2, then followed with a pass breakup on third-and-4 to force the field goal. Stephen Weatherly and Ifeadi Odenigbo created pressure on Mitchell Trubisky on the play.
Q2, 0:00 remaining
Bears 11, Vikings 6
Bailey kicks a 38-yard field goal [6 plays, 55 yards, 1:51 time of possession]
Flipping the field: Boone ripped off a 41-yard run on the Vikings second play of the drive, moving the ball to the Chicago 29.
View pregame images as the Vikings take on the Chicago Bears at U.S. Bank Stadium on Sunday.
Q3, 9:49 remaining
Bears 18, Vikings 6
David Montgomery rushes for a 14-yard touchdown [9 plays, 75 yards, 5:11 time of possession]
Ground and pound: Montgomery finished the drive by powering his way into the end zone for extra yards and the first touchdown of the day. He opened the possession with 43 yards on five consecutive carries.
Q4, 14:13 remaining
Bears 18, Vikings 13
Boone rushes for a 1-yard touchdown [8 plays, 43 yards, 3:47 time of possession]
Capitalizing on short field: The Vikings offense responded to a stop by Minnesota's defense on a fourth-and-1. Mannion completed a 12-yard pass to Bisi Johnson on the first play and connected with him again for a gain of 8 on third-and-five. Ameer Abdullah added an 11-yard rush before three consecutive carries by Boone.
Q4, 8:54 remaining
Bears 18, Vikings 16
Bailey kicks a 39-yard field goal [9 plays, 59 yards, 4:20 time of possession]
Deep connection: Mannion was able to hit Hollins in stride for a gain of 35 a play after the rookie drew an unnecessary roughness penalty on a deep shot.
Q4, 4:53 remaining
Vikings 19, Bears 18
Bailey kicks a 34-yard field goal [4 plays, 7 yards, 1:27 time of possession]
First lead, but no first down: After a play that was initially ruled a touchdown on a fumble return by Odenigbo (his knee was down and he was contacted by a Bear), the Vikings took over at the 23 but were unable to get a first down.
Q4, 0:10 remaining
Bears 21, Vikings 18
Piñeiro kicks a 22-yard field goal [15 plays, 71 yards, 4:43 time of possession]
Critical conversion: The Bears recorded their longest offensive play of the day at the best time when Trubisky found Riley Ridley for a gain of 32 on fourth-and-9 to move the ball to the Minnesota 19. Chicago milked the clock down the stretch.