Vikings Beat Bears 31-17; Futures Uncertain for Nagy, Zimmer – Greeley Tribune

Minneapolis (AP) — Minnesota Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was uninterested in reflection, yet in his eighth year suffered from several narrow losses that kept his team out of the playoffs and rendered this season-ending win over Chicago irrelevant.

Down the hall, Bears coach Matt Nagy was more introspective in the defeat. With both of them in danger of being fired, however, the conclusion was the same. The decision is not theirs, and the record does not lie.

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Kirk Cousins ​​passed for 172 yards and three touchdowns in the second half and led the Vikings back after beating the Bears 31-17 on Sunday in a pad-the-stats game between the finished teams.

Later, Zimmer shook fans as he left the field. With two years remaining on his contract, he said he had not been informed of his position for 2022.

The victory gave Zimmer a 72–56–1 record in eight years, including a 2–3 in the playoffs. The Vikings have missed the postseason for three of the last four years.

“The way this team goes about their business, the way they work, the way they represent the team, the way they represent the organization, the way they practice every day. I appreciate the way they go to the weight room. Go to meetings,” Zimmer said.

Justin Jefferson and KJ Osborne took touchdown catches in the fourth quarter for the Vikings (8–9), who beat the Bears 28–3 after halftime.

“Bittersweet to end this way, but it’s kind of like this, you know?” Linebacker Anthony Barr said. “It’s been a pleasure to be Viking for the past eight years. I’m not sure what the future holds, but whatever it is, Minnesota will always have a special place in my heart.

Barr and DJ Vonum each had seven sacks from Minnesota’s Andy Dalton, who scored 33 for 48 for 325 yards to pass a touchdown pass to Damien Williams that gave the Bears a 14–0 lead.

Darnell Mooney took 12 catches for 126 yards to surpass the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the Bears (6-11), who are 30-35 in four seasons under Nagy without a playoff win.

“I have never been in this situation before. I continue to do business as usual. I mean,” said Nagy. “I know this, what has to happen will happen. I am a positive person.”

fourth down fail

Negi elected to go to fourth place six times with only one conversion. Andy Dalton took sacks for 35 lost yards on three of the first four of those plays, two on the fourth and one. He also threw a fourth down interception late in the fourth quarter, when Patrick Peterson picked him up for a 66-yard touchdown return.

The Bears had seven possessions in the first three quarters and reached at least Minnesota 35 on each one, but it was met with a touchdown and three field goals by Cairo Santos.

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On his first drive of the second half, Dalton scrambled to third and -8, which was initially ruled a touchdown. Review of replays reversed the call with his knee just below the goal line. Barr then chased Dalton to a 15-yard loss when he swung past the line of scrimmage in search of an open receiver.

Dalton, an 11-year veteran, made his sixth start of the season. Rookie Justin Fields joined the COVID-19 reserve list this week.

“There’s a good thing going on here right now, and there’s a really good franchise quarterback that’s going to be good for a long time,” said Nagy, whose boss, also general manager Ryan Pace, is unsure of a return. “Ryan and I were both part of that.”

cousin and company

The Vikings covered 15 yards in their first 15 plays, but the Cousins ​​found their first spark as rookie Ihmer Smith-Marsett set up a field goal in the final game of the first half as he completed 40 yards.

Smith-Marsett had 103 yards and a touchdown, and Jefferson finished with 107 yards – leaving him 17 yards short of setting a single-season franchise record. Randy Moss hit the 16-game mark in 2003 with 1,632 yards.

The crowd chanted “Let’s go, Justin!” When the Vikings took the ball for the last time, booing when they knelt to end the game instead of giving Jefferson another chance at the record.

Cousins ​​crossed the 4,000-yard mark for the sixth time in seven seasons as a starter.

injury report

Bears: DT Akim Hicks (ankle), who caused general mayhem for Minnesota’s offense in the previous matchup on December 20, was ruled out for the seventh game this season.

Vikings: LB Eric Kendrick sits out on COVID-19 reserve. DT Michael Pearce (ill) missed his second straight game and was inactive nine times this season. CB McKinsey Alexander (ankle) and CB Chris Boyd (ribs) were both out.

next:

Bears: Already locked in third place, Chicago will play the following third-place finishers in 2022: Houston and San Francisco at home and Atlanta. The entire AFC East and NFC East divisions are also on schedule for all NFC North teams. The Bears sent their first-round draft pick, which would be No. 7, to receive Fields for last year’s trade-up to the New York Giants.

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Vikings: In second place, Minnesota will face Indianapolis and Arizona at home and play in New Orleans. The Vikings will have the number 12 pick in the first round.

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