A Defense On The Rise

The Minnesota Vikings had lost four straight games to the Chicago Bears before Monday Night’s 19-13 win at Soldier Field. Playing in the windy city hasn’t been kind to the Vikings in recent history as they improved their record to just 4-14 since 2003.

In true “Black and Blue” division fashion, this game featured plenty of defense. It was the young and upstart Vikings’ defense that stole-the-show by limiting the Bears to two first half field goals and forced four straight three-and-outs after Cordarrelle Patterson returned a kickoff for a touchdown to open the second half.

The Vikings certainly appear to have turned the corner on a season that started 1-5. The defense in particular is finding an identity and building some much needed momentum. Mike Zimmer talked about the defense in his post game press conference. “You know they’re starting to mature a little bit and obviously they’re starting to get a little bit of confidence now,”  Zimmer said. “I think it’s been the last three games that the other teams have had the the ball with a chance to win and we’ve been able to put the fire out. The more times you do that, the more times you believe that you can do it. Secondly, I think they’re starting to understand conceptually what we are trying to do with the calls.”

With 44 seconds left in the game, the Vikings defense closed out the Bears for the win. The struggling Bears’ offense was held in check for most of the game converting just 2-11 on third downs. The Vikings defense held the Bears to just 149 total yards and controlled the time of possession 35:50 to 24:10.   

The game ball goes to the defense. And in this weeks’ highlight video we take a second look at all the stellar third down stops.