Bears-Vikings score: Key insights: Chicago defense fails miserably Justin Fields and Joshua Dobbs lead the game-winning drive.

Bears-Vikings score: Key insights: Chicago defense fails miserably Justin Fields and Joshua Dobbs lead the game-winning drive.

Monday night, football justice was served in Minnesota. Leading the Bears to a 12-10 win against the Vikings, Justin Fields—who has faced several hardships in his brief NFL career—was rewarded for his tenacity.

The Bears quarterback showed flashes of ability as he recovered from two fumbles early in the game and led the club on a drive that proved to be the winning drive. He helped Chicago move to 4-8 on the evening with 217 yards passing and 59 yards running. The Vikings finished the game at 6-6.

The intensity of Monday night’s game more than compensated for its lack of scoring, particularly in the second half. With less than six minutes remaining, Joshua Dobbs struck T.J. Hockenson in the end zone on a 17-yard pass, giving Chicago a 9-3 lead that they would later blow.

Chicago’s situation worsened when Fields mishandled the ball on the Bears’ subsequent drive. But Chicago’s defense stood up, as it had many times that evening, forcing a punt and providing Fields and company with a chance to redeem themselves.

Fields did not let us down. With 10 seconds remaining, Cairo Santos’ game-winning 30-yard field goal was made possible by his completions of 16 and 36 yards to D.J. Moore.

In the first quarter, Chicago possessed the ball for all but two plays. Fields led the Bears on two long drives to start the game, completing all 12 of his throws throughout that quarter. In the second, Santos made a chip shot, but in the first, a field goal was missed.

Despite the defense forcing two interceptions of Dobbs, who assisted the Vikings in scoring shortly before halftime on a short field goal, the Bears would not score again in the first half.

Several lessons may be learned from Monday’s game:

The reason the Bears prevailed

The defense led by Matt Eberflus was equal against Brian Flores’ squad on a night when Justin Fields and company were unable to score even one touchdown. Fields overcame two fumbles to set up the game-winning field goal, but the Bears were essentially kept in the game until the very end by the opposing side of the ball. Patrolling the middle, T.J. Edwards was everywhere, Montez Sweat led a front that hit Joshua Dobbs nine times, and Jaylon Johnson almost had two interceptions all by himself as the secondary picked off Dobbs on four separate series. Fields and D.J. Moore did just enough in the closing moments thanks to their constant stops, while Cairo Santos’ four field goals took care of the rest.

The reason the Vikings were defeated

The charm of Joshua Dobbs vanished almost entirely. Dobbs hit a new low attempting to squeeze passes into thick traffic one week after the Broncos grabbed the ball from the Vikings’ fairytale fill-in to win a tight game; he might have easily thrown a fifth interception despite at least one of his four coming off the hands of a receiver. Although he persevered in converting a late touchdown pass to T.J. Hockenson, which gave Minnesota a short lead, it was too little, too late for an offense led by Kevin O’Connell that kept stalling and failed to convert third- or fourth-down attempts. Even though Brian Flores’ “D” managed to record two takeaways of its own, it was insufficient to lead the way.

pivotal moment

With 1:06 remaining and facing a third-and-10 from the Vikings’ 49, Fields found a wide-open D.J. Moore with a pass down the middle of the field to get Chicago inside field goal range. This ended the Bears’ offense’s almost 59-minute stint of stagnant, unduly cautious, screen-heavy playmaking, but it turned the tide and set up Santos’ game-winning 30-yard field goal.

The game being played

Give it to Bears corner Kyler Gordon, who scooped a ball deflected by his teammate in the trenches with an incredible catch on Dobbs’ fourth pick:

Next up

After having a bye in Week 13, the Vikings (6-6) will face the Raiders (5-7), who were recently defeated by the Chiefs, on December 13. In addition, the Bears (4-8) will get a week off before hosting the NFC North-leading Lions (8-3), who were stunned by the rival Packers on Thanksgiving, in Week 14.

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