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Bears kicker Cody Parkey kicks a 48-yard field goal Sunday. | Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

‘Meant to be’: Bears’ Cody Parkey makes 3 FGs in statement victory vs. Vikings

SHARE ‘Meant to be’: Bears’ Cody Parkey makes 3 FGs in statement victory vs. Vikings
SHARE ‘Meant to be’: Bears’ Cody Parkey makes 3 FGs in statement victory vs. Vikings

The Bears needed kicker Cody Parkey to come through in the fourth quarter Sunday to cement their status atop the NFC North. For the third time in the game, Parkey was true.

A week after hitting the upright four times against the Lions, Parkey made three field goals — including a 48-yarder with 2:48 left that sealed the Bears’ eventual 25-20 victory against the Vikings at Soldier Field.

The result enabled the Bears to tighten their grip on first place in the NFC North. Entering their game Thursday in Detroit, the Bears are 7-3. The Vikings, the closest team to them in the division standings, are 5-4-1.

In their biggest game in five years, the Bears didn’t shrink in the moment. Neither did Parkey, who spent two nights last week kicking inside an empty Soldier Field. He made all of his kicks against the Vikings, none bigger than the last.

Facing fourth-and-four from the Vikings’ 30 with 2:52 left, the Bears called a timeout. With an eight-point lead, Bears coach Matt Nagy could have decided to go for it and, if the Bears had converted, run the clock out.

Instead, he decided to have Parkey try a field goal.

‘‘I’m out there swinging my leg, and they call me,’’ Parkey said. ‘‘I go out there, and I picture ourselves doing it Wednesday night and Thursday night.’’

Parkey’s teammates knew the kick was good before it reached the end zone. They mobbed him as he ran off the field.

‘‘This game has highs and lows,’’ said Parkey, who also made a 33-yarder and a 41-yarder in the first half. ‘‘I’ve been through it all. I’m very grateful for this opportunity.’’

Quarterback Mitch Trubisky said there was ‘‘never a doubt,’’ and Parkey’s teammates believed in him.

Maybe it was fate, Nagy mused.

‘‘You kind of almost feel like, ‘OK, this was meant to be,’ ’’ Nagy said.

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The Bears led 14-6 with 8:30 left when safety Eddie Jackson picked off a pass by Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins and returned the ball down the left sideline for a 27-yard touchdown. For the second time in the game, the Bears went for two — Parkey had no extra-point tries — and converted it. Tight end Adam Shaheen, who later would be evaluated for a concussion, caught his first pass of the season to put the Bears ahead 22-6.

Cousins then found receiver Aldrick Robinson for a 13-yard touchdown pass with 4:51 left. The two-point conversion fell incomplete, but a roughing-the-passer penalty on defensive lineman Akiem Hicks — who dominated all night — gave the Vikings new life. Cousins found receiver Adam Thielen to pull the Vikings to 22-14 before Parkey’s final kick.

Chasing an 11-point deficit, the Vikings scored on a five-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to receiver Stefon Diggs with 48 seconds left, but their two-point conversion and onside kick failed.

After Parkey capped the Bears’ opening drive with a field goal, the Vikings threatened to take the lead when they had first-and-10 at the Bears’ 14. Running back Dalvin Cook took a handoff over left tackle and was devoured by outside linebacker Khalil Mack, who stripped the ball with one hand and then reached to recover it.

Trubisky gave the Vikings the ball back, though, when he was picked off by the Vikings’ Anthony Harris.

The Bears followed by forcing their second three-and-out of the game and started their next drive at their own 18. They marched down the field with ease — they only got to third down once in 13 plays — and scored on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Trubisky to receiver Anthony Miller. Receiver Josh Bellamy caught the two-point conversion. Nagy said the conversions were part of the plan entering the game.

Trubisky threw his second interception — also to Harris — with about three minutes left in the third quarter. Harris returned it to the Bears’ 31, but the Vikings only could muster a 36-yard field goal by Dan Bailey. Bailey made another 36-yarder with about 12 minutes left to pull the Vikings to 14-6.

Trubisky posted his worst passer rating of the season — 61.9 — while completing 20 of 31 passes for 165 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Asked how he thought he played, Trubisky simply said the Bears won.

‘‘This is my third year here,’’ right tackle Bobby Massie said. ‘‘It means a lot to this organization, to these players here. It’s major. When’s the last time this happened?’’

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