MINNEAPOLIS — Cairo Santos doesn’t run onto the field thinking about the Bears’ kicking follies of recent years. Or, really, about anything.
‘‘I’m just looking to make it, go 1-for-1 on my next kick,” he said after the Bears’ 33-27 victory against the Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. “I think taking that approach helps you not think about what’s surrounding you with any pressure — or the importance.
“I just try to keep it simple. Less thinking and more doing, I think it’s the better I typically kick.”
On Sunday, there was a lot of doing.
Santos made all four field goals. He hit a 42-yarder in the first quarter, a 35-yarder in the second and two huge kicks in the fourth.
In the fourth quarter, the Bears seemed content to let him try long field goals and game-planned accordingly.
On third-and-four on the second play of the fourth quarter, the Bears called a quarterback sweep, gained one yard and kicked a 48-yarder.
The Vikings were out of timeouts with 1:45 to play when David Montgomery took a handoff for one yard on third-and-six. The Bears took a timeout with a minute left and ran Santos onto the field.
He coolly made a 42-yarder to give them a six-point lead.
“We’re in a position right now, when that happens, that you feel very confident with your kicker,” coach Matt Nagy said. “And he’s proven to us that he’s gonna make those.”
Santos has made 22 consecutive field goals, the best Bears run since Robbie Gould made 24 in a row 16 years ago. His last missed field goal came in Week 3.
“He’s having a special season,” quarterback Mitch Trubisky said. “Those field goals are huge. And he hit every single one of them. I’ve just got to know, when we pass the 50 and when we’re down in the red zone, to be smart — to continue to give him those opportunities to put points on the board for us.”
He’ll do it — somewhere — next year. Santos’ contract is up at the end of the season.
“He’s going to be making bank this year,” inside linebacker Danny Trevathan said. “That’s all I’m saying. Big money. He’s been big for us.”