The Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings were relegated ahead of a playoff dispute entering Sunday’s season finale at US Bank Stadium.
Here are the latest Week 18 updates from Minneapolis.
Halftime: Bears 14, Vikings 3
The Bears defense kept the Vikings 87 net yards in the first half and took a 14-3 halftime lead at US Bank Stadium.
Bears quarterback Andy Dalton hit a wide-open Damien Williams with a 23-yard touchdown pass with 31 seconds to play in the second quarter, and Alan Robinson caught a two-point conversion pass for a 14-0 lead.
Bears kicker Cairo Santos scored field goals from 43 and 46 yards on the first and fourth drives of the half.
Meanwhile, Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins completed 5 of 10 passes for 78 yards and was sacked twice, and running back Dalwyn Cook took a lead of 12 yards on six carries. Cousins had 65 yards on the final drive of the half, which ended with a 39-yard field goal from Greg Joseph.
Bears swung the ball twice in the half in the fourth over.
He went for it twice on his second drive to fourth. David Montgomery ran 4 yards on fourth and one. But Dalton was later dismissed for a loss of 15 yards on the fourth and 5 blitz, giving the Vikings the ball in midfield.
After that play came the Bears defense with a stop. Sam Kamara lost against Dalwyn Cooke to push the Vikings into third and 13. And Angelo Blackson took the Cousins down, while Travis Gipson snatched the ball, pushing the Vikings out of field-goal range.
Bear put together another solid drive in his next possession. But on fourth and -1 on 13, the Bears opted to pass instead of calling a play for Montgomery, and Dalton was dismissed again.
Filling in for Justin Fields, who is out of COVID-19, Dalton threw for 162 yards. Montgomery had 61 rushing yards. And Darnell Mooney took six catches to get 1,000 for 71 yards in his second season.
Eddie Goldman, who tackled the Bears and Nose outside linebacker Robert Quinn, will play against the Vikings on Friday after being listed as a suspect. quinn, joe Set Bears’ single-season sack record Last week, battling a shoulder injury, and Goldman with a finger injury.
Justin Fields lives In reserve/COVID-19 list and hence will not play.
As previously announced, defensive lineman Akim Hicks will not remember what could be his last game with the Bears as he continues to recover from an ankle injury.
Cornerback Duke Shelley (heel), offensive linemen Elijah Wilkinson and Lachvius Simmons and running back Ryan Nal are also inactive for the Bears.
For the Vikings, quarterback Kellen Mondt, cornerback McKinsey Alexander and Chris Boyd, leaving Wayne Gallman behind, tight end Zack Davidson, guard Wyatt Davis and defensive tackle Michael Pierce are inactive.
Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace discuss the latest beer
Brad Biggs of the Tribune reported on Friday While Nagy is expected to be fired on the Sunday or Monday following the conclusion of the season, there is buzz around the league that the Bears may retain general manager Ryan Pace in some role.
what in In what could potentially be his last game as Bears coach, Matt Nagy still hopes his team will do their best to end the season on a three-game winning streak.
After losing to the Vikings, the Bears officially knocked the Seattle Seahawks and New York Giants out of the playoff race.
“We all play to win the Super Bowl. That’s why we coach, so we play,” Nagy said. “As a player, the biggest challenge as a coach is to make sure that we are all that. Maintain that obligation to do what we’re doing…and keep fighting like you if you get a chance, and that’s what I’m proud of. With these guys.
“How do you react when adversity comes and when things are not the way you want them to? do you change? Do you treat people differently? Are you a different head coach? Are you a different kind of player? Because as they all say, it reveals your true character. In the end, we all look back and say, ‘How did we react to tough times?’ I think everyone in this building can tell you, ‘We responded very well.'”
Veteran Andy Dalton will start at quarterback after rookie Justin Fields tested positive for COVID-19 during the week. Negi said that Nick Foles would be the backup. Although Fields could technically test back in the game, Nagy indicated that the missed practice time would be too much to return on Thursday and Friday.
Dalton will look to end a challenging season on a high.
He was the starting starter for the season before suffering a knee injury in Week 2. As he was recovering from injury, the Bears turned to Fields as a permanent starter. Dalton came back to fill in then-injured Fields in a Thanksgiving Day win against the Detroit Lions, but suffered arm and groin injuries and tested positive for COVID-19 in December.
He returned to defeat the Giants last week after Fields was dismissed with an ankle injury.
“It’s been up and down,” Dalton said. “A lot has happened and a lot of things that were not expected sometimes, but it is one of those things that you have to learn and grow from each of your experiences and that is where I am at. ”
Apart from being on Fields’ reserve/COVID-19 list, defensive lineman Akim Hicks is the only Bears player to be announced on Friday. Hicks is battling an ankle injury and will miss his eighth game of the season.
Outside linebacker Robert Quinn (shoulder), nose tackle Eddie Goldman (finger) and cornerback Duke Shelley (heel) were listed as suspects.
The Bears dropped wide receiver Daz Newsom from the practice squad on Saturday. The 2021 sixth-round pick has played two games.
For the Vikings, defensive behavior Michael Pierce (illness) is suspect while McKinsey Alexander (ankle), Chris Boyd (ribs) and Wyatt Davis (illness) are suspects.