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6 winners and 3 losers from Vikings’ 20-17 win over the Bears

Case Keenum rescued the Vikings on Monday.

Minnesota Vikings v Chicago Bears Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images

The Minnesota Vikings topped the Chicago Bears with a 26-yard field goal from Kai Forbath with 12 seconds left that gave the team a 20-17 win on Monday Night Football.

The narrative was supposed to revolve around the debut of Mitchell Trubisky for the Bears and the return of Sam Bradford for the Vikings.

But Bradford left the game early and was replaced by Case Keenum, and Trubisky didn’t do enough good or bad to land in either the winner or loser column Monday night. The rookie showed signs that Chicago can build around him, but he also struggled to get points on the board and threw a back-breaking interception late.

Trubisky finished the game with 129 passing yards, one touchdown and one interception. He made throws that Mike Glennon just can’t make, but also struggled to do much. It was, ultimately, a forgettable night for the No. 2 overall pick.

Instead there were others who stood out as winners and just a couple that were losers on the night:

WINNERS

Case Keenum

When Sam Bradford left the game Monday, the Vikings had just three points and were struggling to do much of anything against the Bears defense. Keenum couldn’t get points before halftime, but he led a pair of touchdown drives in the third quarter that got things rolling, including a 13-yard pass to Kyle Rudolph.

Keenum was 1-2 as the team’s starter over the last three weeks, but deserves a lot of the credit for the win over the Bears. Beating the Packers in Week 6 would be a tall task, but the Vikings offense doesn’t look incompetent with Keenum at the helm.

This play call

My god, this is football porn right here.

The speed, the creativity, the precision. That’s one of the best play designs I’ve ever seen.

This celebration

Is it “duck, duck, goose” or “duck, duck, gray duck”? Whatever you call it, this is great celebration.

Any celebration that gets offensive linemen involved gets an A+ from me.

Leonard Floyd

The Bears’ 2016 first-round pick got the scoring started Monday when he tracked down Sam Bradford, who inexplicably held the ball for more than five seconds in his own end zone.

Floyd added another sack in the second quarter giving him 10 career sacks in 17 games.

Punters

At the end of the first half, there were 10 punts and five points. Both Pat O’Donnell and Ryan Quigley handled the extra duties well and didn’t set up any scoring opportunities before halftime.

Then, O’Donnell got the Bears a touchdown with the most nonchalant of passes on a fake.

Never forget: Punters are people too.

Star Wars

The NFL got in the Star Wars spirit with the debut of a new trailer for Star Wars: The Last Jedi, which comes out in December. There were even Stormtroopers on the field and in the booth.

Sadly, ESPN said that wasn’t Jon Gruden in the Stormtrooper suit.

LOSERS

Sam Bradford

It feels a little mean to call Bradford a loser for trying to play despite clearly being injured, but Monday wasn’t a good night for him at all. It looks like the Vikings would’ve been wise to keep him sidelined another week, and it’s possible that things only got worse with the hits he took from the Bears defense.

Bradford was sacked four times and mostly looked like a player who’d rather hit the ground himself than have someone hit him. He finished with just 36 passing yards on 11 attempts and was mercifully replaced by Keenum just before halftime.

Latavius Murray

The loss of Dalvin Cook for the season meant another chance for Murray to show he’s worth the three-year, $15 million contract he got in the offseason. He finished Monday with just 31 rushing yards on 12 attempts, and was phased out in favor of Jerick McKinnon, who outshined him with 95 yards on 16 attempts, including a 58-yard touchdown.

Murray’s ankle may not be 100 percent, but he’s going to have a hard time getting to year two of his contract with the Vikings if his play doesn’t pick up soon.

Coaching

The Bears and Vikings combined for 17 penalties on Monday night and it’s hard to justify the game plans that were in place for either quarterback.

For the Vikings, Bradford really shouldn’t have been in the game for as long as he was. He was clearly injured and the Minnesota was held back before he was finally pulled before halftime, long after it was clear to everyone else that he shouldn’t have been in the game.

For Chicago, the game plan was clearly to lean on the run and not ask Trubisky to do too much. But the training wheels approach was predictable and sniffed out by the Vikings defense that keyed on the run on early downs and created many third-and-long situations. Those aren’t good for a young quarterback’s development and Trubisky struggled to convert.


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