The Good: Defense and Thomas Graham, Jr.
The defense really stepped it up against the Vikings. The Bears were the butt of jokes heading into the game. The secondary, already a weak spot when the players were fully healthy, got decimated by COVID. Without any starters, many thought that Cousins and wide receiver Justin Jefferson would gain an enormous number of yards and big plays.
The defense showed its pride, however. They were having nothing of that talk. The Bears held Cousins to just 87 passing yards, though he had two touchdown passes. Additionally, they sacked him four times for 26 yards so Minnesota had only 61 yards passing for the game.
The defense also keyed in on running back Dalvin Cook. He had 89 rushing yards, but about a third of those yards came in the fourth quarter. He only averaged 3.2 yards per run. That is way below his career average of 4.8 yards per run.
This was the vintage Chicago Bears defense. The unit did all it could to keep the team in the game and just stifled Minnesota’s offense.
Akiem Hicks and Robert Quinn provided the sacks for the Bears. Each one had two. Quinn now has 16 sacks for the season. He has his sights set on Richard Dent’s franchise record of 17.5 sacks in a season. He only needs 1.5 in the final three games. He has a sack in six consecutive games.
The most impressive player on the defense had to be Thomas Graham, Jr. The rookie was the Bears’ sixth-round draft pick and spent the season on the Bears’ practice squad. He finished the game with seven tackles and three pass breakups. Impressive for his first professional game.
With how bad the secondary played throughout the season, it is amazing that Graham spent the season on the practice squad and it took a COVID breakout for him to get on the field.