CHICAGO – The Vikings defense surrendered 148 rushing yards to the Bears in Sunday night’s 25-20 loss. That’s its highest total since Week 14 of last season in Carolina.
The Vikings are 0-4 this season when allowing more than 100 rushing yards.
“We were put in some tough positions,” linebacker Eric Wilson said. “You know, the D-line slanted and they ran the Tarik Cohen — a little draw right up the seam, nobody was there. They put us in some tough situations, but we just have to be better.”
The leaks sprung from all over the Vikings defense. At one point in the first half, quarterback Mitchell Trubisky led the Bears with 28 rushing yards. Then receiver Taylor Gabriel and Cohen, a running back, each took off for runs of 20-plus yards.
Running back Jordan Howard led the Bears with 63 rushing yards, including 20 yards on three straight carries in a drive ending in a Bears touchdown.
Trubisky dodged nearly every Vikings defensive lineman on early scrambles — most prominently a 9-yard gain to convert a third-and-7 play. He got loose again on a third-and-1 in the third quarter when he evaded defensive end Danielle Hunter and ran for a first down. The Vikings adjusted in the second half, according to coach Mike Zimmer, when Trubisky had just 6 rushing yards.
“[Trubisky] made some good runs,” Zimmer said. “We did a nice job covering. And we beat some guys and had a chance to sack him and he made some nice runs. The second half, we went back to some other things and took care of it.”
Harris stands out
Safety Anthony Harris was a rare bright spot. Harris’ two interceptions doubled his career total entering Sunday night and helped the Vikings stay in the game as long as they did.
Harris has started three consecutive games in place of injured Andrew Sendejo. He returned his second interception for 33 yards, setting up the Vikings for a Dan Bailey field goal.
“Looked like he played well,” Zimmer said. “The first interception was really good, I thought. He made a really good break on the ball.”
Eleven days after the Vikings claimed him off waivers from the Lions, running back Ameer Abdullah debuted as the kick returner. Abdullah immediately made an impact, taking his first return for 27 yards. He took his only touch on offense for a 10-yard catch and run in the red zone.
The Vikings activated Abdullah over rookie running back Mike Boone, who was a healthy scratch.
Barr sidelined again
Linebacker Anthony Barr missed his third straight game because of a hamstring injury suffered Oct. 21 in New York.
Barr, who is in a contract season, had played 44 consecutive games before the leg injury. He was one of two defensive starters who didn’t play in Chicago, including Sendejo (groin).
Wilson and Harris again started for Barr and Sendejo.
Receiver Adam Thielen had a modest night — seven catches for 66 yards — but the Vikings star recorded a couple more milestones.
He joined Randy Moss (2003) as the only Vikings receiver to hit the 1,000-yard mark in 10 games.
Thielen also became the fifth undrafted receiver to have back-to-back seasons of at least 80 catches and 1,000 yards.
Thielen also has at least 80 catches and 1,000 yards for a second consecutive season, marking just the sixth time an undrafted receiver has had such back-to-back seasons.
He joined Wes Welker, Rod Smith, Victor Cruz and J.T. Smith.