NFL Wire News

Vikings 13, Bears 9


MINNEAPOLIS — Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater threw for 209 yards and the only touchdown in the game, leading the Minnesota Vikings to a 13-9 win over the Chicago Bears on Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium.

The victory gave the Vikings seven wins in Mike Zimmer’s first season as head coach, two more than Minnesota had last season.

Chicago dropped to 5-11 and big changes could be on the horizon, as coach Marc Trestman and the Bears won three fewer games in 2014 than they did in his first season there last year. Trestman has a 3-9 NFC North record in two seasons.

Bridgewater connected with receiver Adam Thielen on a 44-yard scoring strike with 11 minutes remaining in the third quarter, giving the Vikings a 10-6 lead they wouldn’t relinquish.

Minnesota led by four with 8:53 remaining and drove 13 plays all the way to the Bears 3-yard line. Running back Matt Asiata was stuffed for no gain on consecutive plays, including on 4th-and-1, giving quarterback Jay Cutler one final chance with just under three minutes remaining.

Cutler scrambled for a first down on the first play of the drive, but a series of penalties moved the Bears backward and Cutler’s pass to tight end Martellus Bennett came up one yard short of a first down to clinch Minnesota’s first win inside the NFC North this season.

Kicker Blair Walsh connected on his second field goal of the day early in the fourth quarter, giving the Vikings a seven-point lead.

Chicago’s Mark Mariani returned the ensuing kickoff 67 yards to the Vikings 35-yard line, putting the Bears in prime position to tie the score. But Cutler misfired on a third-down pass to Bennett, settling for a 35-yard field goal by kicker Jay Feely.

Feely made three field goals on the day for the Bears and missed wide right on a 43-yard attempt in the third quarter that would have made it a 10-9 game.

Cutler, starting one week after being benched for Jimmy Clausen, was back in as the starter because of Clausen’s concussion and finished 23 of 36 passing for 172 yards.

Asiata finished with 91 yards on 19 carries. Bears running back Matt Forte had 51 yards on 17 carries to go over 1,000 yards this season and hauled in eight passes for 23 yards, setting the NFL record for receptions in a season by a running back with 102.

NOTES: Bears RB Matt Forte’s nine-yard run on the first drive of the game put him over 1,000 rushing yards in 2014. His third-quarter reception gave him 100 for the season, as Forte became the second player in NFL history (LaDainian Tomlinson) with 1,000 rushing yards and 100 receptions in the same season. … Vikings WR Jarius Wright left the game in the second quarter with a back injury and did not return. … Vikings LB Audie Cole, starting in place of an injured Chad Greenway, led all players with 14 total tackles, including 11 solos.

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