Only 3 targets to Thielen in loss to Bears
Despite 13th touchdown catch, Chicago holds Adam Thielen to season lows in catches, targets and yards.
Adam Thielen scored the Vikings’ first touchdown on a three-yard pass from Kirk Cousins in the first quarter but was only targeted twice more as the visiting Chicago Bears kept their NFC playoff hopes alive with a 33-27 win over Minnesota 33-27 Sunday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Thielen finished the game with two grabs for 11 yards. His 13th touchdown of the season keeps his ranking at third in the NFL behind Tyreek Hill (15) and Davante Adams (14).
Thielen tied Randy Moss (1998, 2004) and Cris Carter (1997, 1999) for the fifth most receiving touchdowns in a season in team history. Moss and Carter hold the all-time record of 17 touchdowns.
Thielen’s stats of catches, targets and yards were season lows.
Too easy for @athielen19— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) December 20, 2020
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Chicago’s David Montgomery rushed for a career-high 146 yards and two touchdowns and Mitchell Trubisky had a passing touchdown and 236 yards of offense as Chicago (7-7) won for the second straight week on the heels of a six-game skid and is one game behind the Arizona Cardinals for the final NFC wild-card spot.
The Vikings, who rallied after starting the season 1-5, fell to 6-8 as their playoff aspirations took a sizable hit with two weeks left in the regular season.
Minnesota, trailing 30-27, had an opportunity to capitalize on Cameron Dantzler's interception of Trubisky in the end zone with 2:57 to go but turned the ball over on downs.
Bears kicker Cairo Santos closed the scoring with his fourth field goal of the afternoon, a 42-yarder with 56 seconds to play.
"Yards were hard fought all game long," Cousins said. "They have a great pass rush."
The Vikings drove to the Bears' 33-yard line in the closing seconds, but Kirk Cousins' Hail Mary in the end zone was tipped and intercepted by Sherrick McManus as time expired.
"The defense did a great job of getting us back the ball, and we had a chance to win it," Minnesota running back Dalvin Cook said. "We just didn't win it. We've got to look at ourselves in the mirror, go back and fix some things. We're supposed to finish the game off as an offense, and we didn't do it."
The Bears scored on six straight possessions before the Trubisky interception -- excluding a kneel-down to end the first half -- and took a 30-20 lead with 13:33 remaining on a 48-yard Santos field goal.
A 20-yard touchdown pass from Cousins to Tyler Conklin brought Minnesota to within 30-27 with 8:05 to go.
Trubisky was 15-for-21 passing for 202 yards with one touchdown and one interception. He also had eight carries for 34 yards. Allen Robinson finished with four catches for 83 yards.
Cousins was 24-for-35 for 271 yards and two touchdowns for Minnesota. Dalvin Cook had 24 rushes for 132 yards and a touchdown.
Justin Jefferson finished with eight receptions for 104 yards. Along the way, he snagged his 70th catch of the season to surpass Randy Moss' previous franchise single-season rookie record. Cousins targeted the Vikings’ rookie 11 times.
Cook rushed for 79 yards on 13 carries before halftime, gaining the most yards on the ground against the Bears in any half this season. Still, one yard he didn't make late in the second quarter proved pivotal.
With the Vikings trailing 17-7 with 5:52 to go before halftime, Minnesota tried running Cook up the middle on 4th-and-1 from its own 34-yard line. The Bears stopped him for no gain and capitalized with a 35-yard Santos field goal with 3:34 left in the second quarter.
Minnesota answered with a 24-yard Dan Bailey field goal with 26 seconds to go before halftime as the Bears took a 20-10 lead into intermission. Bailey overcame recent struggles to convert each of his two field-goal attempts and all three extra points.
( Forum News Service’s Robb Jeffries and Field Level Media contributed to this report)