Thomas Graham Jr. and the Chicago Bears held Justin Jefferson in check. Robert Quinn and company succeeded in slowing down Dalvin Cook
The penalties, the discipline issues in general, it was just too much for them to overcome.
Teez Tabor and Trevis Gipson were whistled for 15-yard penalties on a key Minnesota strike in the third quarter, as part of a flag filled Monday night for the Bears in a 17-9 loss to the Vikings.
Tabor was part of a secondary patchwork for Chicago after cornerback Jaylon Johnson and safety Tashaun Gipson joined safety Eddie Jackson and cornerback Artie Burns on the team’s important reserve / COVID-19 list .
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But the defense held up very well without all of their starting secondary, limiting the high-powered Minnesota to 193 yards.
Cook, who racked up 205 yards and two touchdowns in the Vikings’ 36-28 victory over Pittsburgh on Dec. 9, gained 89 rushing yards against the Bears. Jefferson finished with just four catches for 47 yards and one touchdown. Kirk Cousins scored 12 for 24 for 87 yards at the season low.
But Chicago (4-10) was injured several times in its eighth loss in nine games.
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Trailing 10-3 at halftime, the Bears came out empty on first possession of the second half. The Vikings then set up a 12-play, 77-yard drive that Cousins finished with a 7-yard touchdown pass to a wide-open Ihmir Smith-Marsette.
It looked like the Bears had stopped the Vikings twice before Smith-Marsette’s touchdown, only to be whistled for costly penalties.
First, Tabor was flagged for a low block in a curious call after he went low to get to Cook on third and -18 at Minnesota 15. Then Trevis Gipson was called for unnecessary roughness afterwards. as the Bears stopped Cook for a 2-yard loss on the third down deep into Chicago territory.
The Bears finished with nine penalties for 91 yards, compared to seven for 54 for the Vikings (7-7).
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Bears coach Matt Nagy was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct in the first half after getting angry with an unnecessary and questionable roughness penalty on safety Deon Bush, extending a Vikings practice that ended with Greg Joseph’s 37-yard basket.
After Smith-Marsette scored, the Bears’ subsequent drive stalled after rookie Teven Jenkins was flagged for unnecessary roughness. Offensive lineman German Ifedi pushed Jenkins in frustration after the call and led the rookie to the sidelines.
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