Cutler, Bennett lead Chicago past Vikings in final minute

  • Article by: CHIP SCOGGINS , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 16, 2013 - 7:56 AM

A defensive collapse negated Christian Ponder’s strong second half and put the Vikings in an 0-2 hole.

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– All they needed were three minutes of solid football. Just one defensive stand and a dreary Sunday afternoon spent in the rain would suddenly give way to a cheerier outlook that maybe things aren’t so bad after all.

The Vikings heard the sky was falling for an entire week after their no-show performance against Detroit in the season opener. But suddenly, they found themselves in position to salvage a split in their two-game NFC North road trip to start the 2013 season.

With a manageable schedule on tap the next three games, it almost felt safe to remove our collective finger from the panic button. The Vikings just had to close the deal.

And then … Poof!

“We’ve got to play a full game if we want to win in this league,” defensive tackle Kevin Williams said.

The Vikings absorbed a painful reminder of that edict with a gut punch that whitewashed some positive developments Sunday. A defensive meltdown culminated with a touchdown pass by the Chicago Bears with 10 seconds remaining, leaving the Vikings to stew in their locker room after a 31-30 loss at Soldier Field.

The last-second touchdown dropped the Vikings to 0-2 and raised questions about who was to blame for Martellus Bennett’s 16-yard scoring catch. The players appeared confused before the snap with cornerback Chris Cook signaling for help.

Cook declined to speak to reporters after the game and his defensive teammates clearly were upset, though they chose their words carefully. Middle linebacker Erin Henderson admitted he was surprised by the play call on that final play, but he said players still must perform their job.

“Coaches call plays and players have to go out there and make plays,” he said.

Vikings coach Leslie Frazier accepted full responsibility for the final drive, which began at the Chicago 34. Jay Cutler shredded the Vikings defense as the Bears went 66 yards on 10 plays in 3 minutes, 5 seconds.

“Personally, I have to do a better job guiding our team in that last sequence,” Frazier said.

Instead, Soldier Field remained a house of horrors for the Vikings, who have now lost 12 of their past 13 visits. The Vikings also realize they’ve dug themselves a hole before even playing a home game.

Since the playoffs expanded to 12 teams in 1990, teams that start 0-2 have made the playoffs just 11.6 percent of the time. That list includes the 2008 Vikings, but Sunday was not the time to start analyzing playoff scenarios.

“We just need to get back to accountability within the team from position to position,” linebacker Chad Greenway said. “Just clean up messes. There’s just stuff across the board that needs to be improved.”

The Vikings provided another mixed-bag performance that would look different had they avoided that final-drive collapse. Rookie Cordarrelle Patterson opened the game with a 105-yard kickoff return. The defense forced four turnovers, including a 61-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Brian Robison and a Kevin Williams interception in the end zone.

Quarterback Christian Ponder recovered after throwing a pick-six in the second quarter to give his team a chance to win. One week after turning the ball over four times against Detroit, Ponder’s status seemed tenuous after Tim Jennings intercepted a pass intended for Jerome Simpson and returned it 44 yards for a touchdown.

“That’s a terrible play,” Ponder said.

Ponder responded with a perfectly placed 20-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Rudolph on the ensuing drive. He also made a few key runs in the second half as the Vikings finally established an offensive rhythm and balance. Ponder passed for 227 yards while Adrian Peterson quietly rushed for 100 yards.

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Cincinnati - LP: J. Broxton 1 FINAL
Pittsburgh - WP: T. Watson 2
Minnesota - LP: T. May 1 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 9
NY Yankees - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Toronto - LP: M. Buehrle 3
Philadelphia - LP: J. Diekman 1 FINAL
NY Mets - WP: J. deGrom 4
Boston - WP: A. Ranaudo 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: C. Archer 4
Miami - LP: C. Hatcher 2 FINAL
Atlanta - WP: D. Carpenter 5
Cleveland - WP: D. Salazar 6 FINAL
Kansas City - LP: J. Vargas 1
Detroit - WP: J. Verlander 7 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: S. Carroll 1
Texas - WP: S. Baker 13 FINAL
Houston - LP: B. Oberholtzer 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: N. Ramirez 7 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: P. Neshek 2
Colorado - LP: R. Brothers 2 FINAL
Arizona - WP: B. Ziegler 5
Oakland - LP: J. Lester 0 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Weaver 4
Los Angeles - LP: K. Correia 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: T. Stauffer 3
Washington - WP: J. Zimmermann 8 FINAL
Seattle - LP: F. Hernandez 3
Milwaukee - LP: W. Peralta 2 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: R. Vogelsong 13
Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
(21) Texas A&M 52 FINAL
(9) So Carolina 28
Wake Forest 10 FINAL
ULM 17
Boise State 13 FINAL
(18) Ole Miss 35
Tulane 31 FINAL
Tulsa 38
Rutgers 41 FINAL
Washington St 38
Weber State 14 FINAL
(19) Arizona State 45
Temple 37 FINAL
Vanderbilt 7
BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
TX-San Antonio 27 FINAL
Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 7:30 AM
UCF
Troy 11:00 AM
UAB
(7) UCLA 11:00 AM
Virginia
Western Mich 11:00 AM
Purdue
(5) Ohio State 11:00 AM
Navy
Appalachian St 11:00 AM
Michigan
Ga Southern 11:30 AM
NC State
Boston College 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
West Virginia 2:30 PM
(2) Alabama
Rice 2:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
(10) South Dakota St 2:30 PM
(24) Missouri
Fla Atlantic 2:30 PM
(22) Nebraska
California 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Marshall 2:30 PM
Miami-Ohio
UC Davis 3:00 PM
(11) Stanford
Arkansas 3:00 PM
(6) Auburn
(16) Clemson 4:30 PM
(12) Georgia
Liberty 5:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Ohio U 5:00 PM
Kent State
Louisiana Tech 6:00 PM
(4) Oklahoma
Idaho 6:00 PM
Florida
Stephen F Austin 6:10 PM
(20) Kansas State
Fresno State 6:30 PM
(15) USC
Southern Miss 6:30 PM
Miss State
Texas-El Paso 7:00 PM
New Mexico
North Texas 7:00 PM
Texas
(1) Florida State 7:00 PM
Oklahoma State
(14) Wisconsin 8:00 PM
(13) LSU
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
Houston 3 FINAL
Sporting Kansas City 1
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 71 FINAL
Phoenix 85
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis Noon
Sep 14 - vs. New England Noon
Sep 21 - at New Orleans Noon
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pm
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pm
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit Noon
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo Noon
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay Noon
Nov 2 - vs. Washington Noon
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago Noon
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay Noon
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina Noon
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets Noon
Dec 14 - at Detroit Noon
Dec 21 - at Miami Noon
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago Noon

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