Chicago Bears: Close division win proves this team is for real

Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Chicago Bears (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Bears found a way to win on Sunday Night Football against a talented Minnesota Vikings team. This win proves the Bears should be considered a force going forward.

The Chicago Bears had something to prove on Sunday night when they faced off against their division rival the Minnesota Vikings. The defense came up big and the offense did enough to win as the Bears pulled off a 25-20 victory.

The cliche in sports is that good teams find a way to win. It may be an old saying, but that’s exactly what the Bears did on Sunday night. When the offense wasn’t clicking, the defense picked them up in a big way.

After a disastrous special teams effort last week, the unit came through with big performances. Good teams also have a short memory, and the Bears seem to have that as well.

While the offense did some good things throughout the night, it was all about the defense in this game. The front seven got a lot of pressure yet again, and defensive tackle Akiem Hicks had a huge game. Hicks had a sack as well as four tackles for no gain or a loss.

The first half belonged to the Bears defense as they shut out the Vikings and went into the locker room at halftime with a 14-0 lead.

Chicago Bears Josh Bellamy
(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images) /

Outside linebacker Khalil Mack wreaked havoc on Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins, getting constant pressure and recording one sack along with a forced fumble and recovery in the first half.

Quarterback Mitch Trubisky is often scrutinized, and his critics may have some new evidence after this week. Trubisky threw two interceptions on the day. One was just a great play by the Vikings, but the other was a bad throw by the young quarterback.

Trubisky did throw one touchdown to wide receiver Anthony Miller which led to a fun touchdown celebration by the Bears offense. He also converted a two-point conversion after the touchdown on a throw to wide receiver Josh Bellamy.

The Bears struggled in the second half on offense and let the Vikings back into the game.  The offense turned the ball over on back-to-back possessions which lead to two Vikings field goals.

With the score at 14-6 in the fourth quarter, it seemed as if the momentum shifted in favor of the Vikings.

After another short drive for the offense which resulted in no points, it was again up to the Bears defense to come up big and help the team hold the lead. They did just that in the form of a fantastic pick-six by safety Eddie Jackson.

After another successful two-point conversion, the Bears were up 22-6 and still in control. But the game was still very much not over.

Minnesota didn’t go down without a fight as Cousins led the Vikings offense down the field quickly for a touchdown and successfully converted a two-point conversion. It was again a one-possession game with the score at 22-14.

It was up to the offense to control the clock and ice the game away. The team wasn’t overly conservative, but they again struggled to move the ball.

The Vikings defense helped the Bears out after safety Harrison Smith got penalized for a late hit on Trubisky. After the drive stalled, there was an opportunity at redemption for kicker Cody Parkey.

Parkey’s performance in week 10 was a national story leading up to this game. Parkey missed four kicks in that game, hitting the uprights each time. He had already made two kicks against the Vikings, both mid-range field goals. The game was on his shoulders in the fourth quarter.

Parkey drilled a 48-yard field goal right down the middle with just under three minutes left in the fourth quarter. In one week’s time, he went from almost being run out of town to a clutch kicker that helped the Bears win a huge division game.

The Bears have another division game in just three days against the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving. The team won’t have much time to rest, but this win is a big building block on the road to the playoffs.

Just a year ago, the Bears were a laughingstock who finished in last place in the NFC North for the fourth straight year. Now, this team looks like they could win the division going away. It’s amazing how much the identity of the Bears has changed in a short time.

As a Bears fan, I just wanted this season to be fun and to be excited to watch games again. That feat has already been accomplished as I believe the Bears are one of the most entertaining teams to watch in the NFL.

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This team is trending in the right direction. It’s up to the Bears to come through in all three phases on Thanksgiving to keep the momentum going with a fifth straight win.