The Bears put up their end of the bargain to end the 2018 regular season with a 24-10 victory over the Vikings. The team couldn’t earn the first-round bye with the Rams pulling away to clinch the No. 2 seed, but still played hard to eliminate their division rivals from the postseason.
In a game with huge implications for Minnesota, it was the Bears who jumped out to an early lead that wouldn’t go away. Jordan Howard got going early en route to 109 rushing yards and two touchdowns, while Mitch Trubisky threw for 163 yards and committed zero turnovers.
The Bears’ defense looked to be in playoff form by limiting the Vikings to just 164 total yards. Kirk Cousins completed just 20 of 33 passes for 132 yards and gave back 31 yards on four sacks.
Relive the Bears’ Week 17 win over the Vikings below.
Final score: Bears 24, Vikings 10
Bears 24, Vikings 10: The Vikings’ drive falters near the red zone with 17 seconds left, and that’ll do it. The Bears will finish 12-4.
Bears 24, Vikings 10: The Bears give the ball back after four plays, so the Vikings have an outside shot to try to make something happen here.
Bears 24, Vikings 10: Another failed fourth down attempt by the Vikings hands the ball back to the Bears with about three minutes left. We’re about three minutes from the end of Minnesota’s season.
Bears 24, Vikings 10: The Bears can’t get another touchdown but Cody Parkey hits to extend the lead. No drama that time.
Bears 21, Vikings 10: The Bears stop the Vikings on fourth down with a great play by Adrian Amos, and have a chance to effectively put away this game (and the Vikings’ playoff hopes) with a bit over six minutes left in regulation.
Bears 21, Vikings 10: TOUCHDOWN! Tarik Cohen takes it in from four yards out for his third rushing touchdown of the year, then they convert the two-point conversion with a pass to Nick Kwiatkoski of all players. The Bears’ offense delivers big while missing its top three wide receivers.
Bears 13, Vikings 10: Third down conversions are allowing the Bears to keep moving the ball and drain the clock on what’s been a very impressive drive. They’re now 8-of-12 on third downs in this game so far.
Bears 13, Vikings 10: Anthony Barr sacks Mitch Trubisky on third down but the play is waved off by a defensive holding in the secondary.
Bears 13, Vikings 10: Javon Wims is stepping up in the absence of Anthony Miller, this time delivering a huge catch on third down for 16 yards early in the fourth quarter.
Third quarter: Bears 13, Vikings 10
Bears 13, Vikings 10: Mitch Trubisky running up the middle for first downs seems like a good idea until you remember that it likely doesn’t matter whether the Bears win this game. He should probably play it a bit safer than that.
Bears 13, Vikings 10: After a weird sequence that ends with a Vikings first down, Kirk Cousins finds Stefon Diggs crossing into the corner of the end zone for their first touchdown of the game. Diggs crosses 1,000 yards receiving on the season with that catch.
Bears 13, Vikings 3: A pass interference call on Prince Amukamara and a big run by Latavius Murray have the Vikings inside the red zone for the first time in the game.
Bears 13, Vikings 3: The Bears’ defense gets called for a roughing the penalty that elicits pretty significant frustration from the broadcast crew. “I give up,” presumably in reference to trying to understand what the referees deem a penalty.
Bears 13, Vikings 3: A big play by Jordan Howard gets brought back on a soft holding call on Kevin White, so the Bears are forced to settle for a punt.
Bears 13, Vikings 3: The Bears’ offense has its starters out here to open the second half, but they’ll want to be careful with the Rams holding a sizable lead over the 49ers. It’ll be interesting to see how Matt Nagy balances that with the team holding a 10-point lead.
Halftime: Bears 13, Vikings 3
Bears 13, Vikings 3: Minnesota is forced to settle for a field goal after a lengthy drive stalls out, but they’ve cut the Bears’ lead to 10.
Bears 13, Vikings 0: TOUCHDOWN! Mitch Trubisky finally unleashes a deep ball and Taylor Gabriel comes through as the receiver with a diving catch at the 1-yard line, then Jordan Howard punches it in for his second TD of the game.
Oh … and Cody Parkey missed an extra point. Hm.
Bears 7, Vikings 0: The Minnesota crowd unsurprisingly doesn’t like a soft roughing the passer penalty on the Vikings defense, which has the Bears driving again.
Bears 7, Vikings 0: Instead of having excellent field position after pinning the Vikings deep, a huge punt combined with a bad return and a penalty pushes the Bears’ offense inside their own 20 to start the next drive.
Bears 7, Vikings 0: The Bears’ defense is just relentless so far. They just forced the Vikings into a fourth consecutive three-and-out, and nearly recorded a safety while sacking Kirk Cousins on third down.
First quarter: Bears 7, Vikings 0
Bears 7, Vikings 0: Kevin White delivers a big-time catch for 22 yards in a moment that’s out of the alternate universe where the former No. 7 overall pick panned out.
Bears 7, Vikings 0: Three straight three-and-outs for the Bears’ defense. They’re locked in so far.
Bears 7, Vikings 0: After another defensive stop, Tarik Cohen offers some suspense by muffing the punt but quickly jumps on it to avoid a turnover. The team also announced that Anthony Miller is questionable to return.
#Bears injury update:— Chicago Bears (@BearsPR) December 30, 2018
WR Anthony Miller (shoulder, questionable)
Bears 7, Vikings 0: TOUCHDOWN! Jordan Howard finishes off the drive he started with a scoring run to put the Bears ahead in Minnesota.
Bears 0, Vikings 0: The Bears really don’t want any injuries but Anthony Miller just left the game after stumbling out of bounds with some kind of problem. Josh Bellamy may need to step up for now.
Bears 0, Vikings 0: Jordan Howard started revving it up the past few weeks and now he’s started off brilliantly against the Vikings with two rushes for 49 yards. He likely won’t hit 1,000 this season – he’d need to rush for 174 today – but it’s good to see him trending up after a lackluster start to the season.
Bears 0, Vikings 0: The Bears’ defense comes through with a three-and-out as the Vikings use up just 31 seconds on their first possession of the game. We also got a rare Kevin White sighting on the punt return!
#Bears WR Kevin White on special teams! He had to block gunner Jayron Kearse.— Adam Jahns (@adamjahns) December 30, 2018
Before the game
The Bears’ unexpectedly successful regular season comes to an end with a Week 17 matchup against the Vikings on Sunday. The game had originally been scheduled to start at noon but the NFL moved it back to the late afternoon slate in order to align its timing with other games set to impact the NFC playoff seeding.
Both the Bears and Vikings have something to play for at U.S. Bank Stadium, so this won’t be a typical season finale full of low stakes and backup players.
The Bears can earn the No. 2 seed in the conference and a first-round bye for the postseason if they beat the Vikings and the Rams lose at home to the 49ers. That’s admittedly an unlikely combination to occur, but with the door creaked open, the Bears plan to play their starters at least through the first half.
The Vikings, meanwhile, have even more pressure. They need a victory or an Eagles loss or tie in order to clinch their spot in the postseason. The Eagles face the Redskins this afternoon to wrap up their regular season.
All of this adds a nice dose of intrigue to what’s otherwise been a meaningless Bears game in past seasons. Here’s how to tune in.
How to watch Bears vs. Vikings
Time: 3:25 p.m. CT
Live stream: FOX Sports Go