Snap Reactions after Bears-Vikings

Dec 20, 2021; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Justin Jefferson (18) looks on before the game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Quinn Harris-USA TODAY Sports

From a suggestion by a reader, we author a “snap reactions” weekly piece detailing thoughts and analysis after a Minnesota Vikings game.

This will be off-the-cuff, a wee bit “random,” and hopefully insightful.

  1. If you are disappointed that a Vikings-Bears game at Soldier Field is sloppy or unentertaining, we hereby recommend you avoid watching games between the two teams in Chicago for the rest of days. Every game at Soldier Field for the Vikings is like Monday’s. And usually, the Vikings lose. Be happy with a win, no matter the pain endured while experiencing it. Ugly wins exist in sports.
  2. The Vikings offensive line started efficiently — for about two drives. Then, the reckoning set in. Quarterbacks are not good under siege; Kirk Cousins particularly is not good under siege. Let’s hope it was an outlier — unlikely — because this fivesome of Vikings up front in the trenches was supposed to be the best combination available.
  3. Tonight’s game was the first time the Vikings held an opponent under 10 points since December 8th, 2019. That was the game against the David Blough-led Lions.
  4. The announcers on ABC-ESPN made it clear the Bears don’t fire coaches in-season. But with all the personal foul infractions — Matt Nagy included — this could be the smoking-gun catalyst effectuating Nagy’s termination.
  5. K.J. Osborn is a real WR3 for the Vikings. But he isn’t quite a WR2, yet.
  6. The Vikings were 5 for 17 on offensive 3rd Downs. It’s rare for a team to get away with that and win somewhat handily.
  7. Gradually, D.J. Wonnum is maturing into a damn good defensive end. He was terrific against the Bears. It will be extremely interesting this offseason to see if Minnesota’s front office now considers Wonnum a sure-fire starter. Otherwise, drafting an EDGE rusher in the 1st Round of a draft is overdue for the Vikings. Wonnum is only 24 years old. Remember that, if his performance feels meh at times. Youngsters take time to develop.
  8. Sheldon Richardson had three tackles, two quarterback hits, one tackle for loss, one forced fumble, a fumble recovery, and what could’ve been a defensive touchdown (if the referees were observant). And he did all of that outside of his natural defensive tackle position. He may not remain with the team in 2022, but it would be very wise for the Vikings to explore a retention method.
  9. On the whole, Kirk Cousins wasn’t very good in Week 15. Typically when that occurs, the Vikings lose. The change of pace resulting in a win should be considered encouraging, albeit versus a bad Bears franchise.
  10. The Vikings go to bed in the playoffs, for now, after Monday’s win. If the Eagles beat the Washington Football Team on Tuesday, Minnesota remains in the seventh seed, slated for a tentative date with Dallas Cowboys on Wildcard Weekend. A loss to the Bears would’ve essentially ended the Vikings season. Again, ugly wins matter.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).

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