12 Snap Reactions after Bears at Vikings

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Each week, we offer a “snap reactions” piece detailing thoughts and analysis after the latest Minnesota Vikings game.

12 Snap Reactions after Bears at Vikings

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

The Vikings lost 12-10 in Week 12 at home versus the Chicago Bears, extending the two-game losing streak. Minnesota now has a 58.4% chance of reaching the playoffs, according to ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI).

after Bears at
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1 – The Vikings’ loss at the Denver Broncos in Week 11 brought the team back to earth and was somewhat explainable. It also didn’t wholly damage their playoff hopes. Losing to the lowly Bears, however, at home was a different story. The defeat was as brutal as it was unforgivable.

2 – It took about four weeks, but alas, Minnesota has an honest-to-goodness quarterback controversy, as Joshua Dobbs cannot protect the football. Turnover after turnover will get a player benched at any level of football, and while the Vikings might let Dobbs ride another again in Week 14 with the benefit of Justin Jefferson returning, he is firmly on the quarterback hot seat.

3 – Brian Flores’ defense didn’t allow a touchdown, and the Vikings couldn’t win. What a miserable outcome at home versus the second most-hated rival.

Aspect of Vikings
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4 – When Minnesota begins turning over the ball repeatedly in a game, you should just assume a loss is incoming. It takes miracles or multiple takeaways to offset those sins, and this 2023 brand of Vikings simply cannot fully rectify the turnover woes.

5 – Losing to the Bears was an in-your-face symptom of gliding along during life without Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson. The Vikings got away with it for a few weeks, mainly because Dobbs wasn’t gifting the ball away like a charity, but losing the QB1 and WR1 actually matters. It’s the “can’t keep getting away with this” Breaking Bad meme.

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6 – This is the kind of garbage that occurs when a starting quarterback is out for too long:

7 – Kevin O’Connell took — and will take — a lot of heat for playcalling conservatism in the 4th Quarter, but it was very evident that he didn’t trust his quarterback, who had created four turnovers already in the game. O’Connell blundered by trusting his hot defense, a repeat gaffe in back-to-back weeks. He very plainly didn’t trust Dobbs to make a play. So, he handed the keys to Flores’ group, and they couldn’t deliver.

8 – Ivan Pace had a wonderful game, and seeing him develop in real time is encouraging. He’ll be a Vikings’ staple for years.

9 – If the Vikings start Dobbs in Week 14 — that’s a big maybe at the moment — they must get him on the move on every offensive play. He isn’t a pocket passer and should be used like Lamar Jackson, albeit a severely diet version. Marinating in the pocket is not his game.

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10 – A top draft need in April will be running back. Expect the Vikings to use 2nd, 3rd, or 4th-Round capital on a tailback because eeking by in 2023 with Alexander Mattison and Ty Chandler has not worked.

11 – Dobbs probably deserves a shot at the offense with Justin Jefferson in the mix, but Minnesota’s coaching staff must determine in the next 12 days if Jefferson’s return will reduce Dobbs’ turnovers. Because they are lethal.

12 – The Vikings still have a vivid track to the postseason, but the good grace from the five-game winning streak is dead. They must finish the season on a 3-2 spurt. Anything less will result in scoreboard-watching.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.