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.

– 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.

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 0 FINAL
Cincinnati - WP: J. Cueto 4
Tampa Bay - LP: J. Odorizzi 0 FINAL
Baltimore - WP: M. Gonzalez 3
Chicago Cubs - LP: J. Hammel 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Tanaka 3
St. Louis - LP: J. Kelly 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: W. Peralta 5
NY Mets - WP: D. Gee 5 FINAL
Arizona - LP: B. McCarthy 2
Atlanta - WP: J. Teheran 1 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: C. Lee 0
Chicago Cubs - LP: T. Wood 0 FINAL
NY Yankees - WP: M. Pineda 2
Cleveland - WP: Z. McAllister 3 FINAL
Detroit - LP: A. Sanchez 2
Washington - WP: D. Storen 6 FINAL
Miami - LP: M. Dunn 3
Seattle - LP: F. Rodney 2 FINAL
Texas - WP: P. Figueroa 3
Boston - WP: C. Capuano 6 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: L. Garcia 4
Kansas City - WP: D. Duffy 6 FINAL
Houston - LP: J. Williams 4
Toronto 0 Postponed
Minnesota 0
Oakland - LP: D. Pomeranz 4 FINAL
LA Angels - WP: J. Smith 5
Colorado - LP: J. De La Rosa 2 FINAL
San Diego - WP: A. Cashner 4
Los Angeles - LP: J. Howell 1 FINAL
San Francisco - WP: J. Machi 2
Chicago 86 FINAL
Charlotte 91
Indiana 101 FINAL
Orlando 86
Atlanta 111 FINAL
Milwaukee 103
Dallas 105 FINAL
Memphis 106
Detroit 111 FINAL
Oklahoma City 112
Houston 100 FINAL
New Orleans 105
LA Lakers 113 FINAL
San Antonio 100
Brooklyn 85 FINAL
Cleveland 114
Philadelphia 100 FINAL
Miami 87
Utah 136 FINAL
Minnesota 130
Washington 118 FINAL
Boston 102
Toronto 92 FINAL
New York 95
Golden State 116 FINAL
Denver 112
LA Clippers 104 FINAL
Portland 110
Phoenix 104 FINAL
Sacramento 99
Montreal 5 FINAL(OT)
Tampa Bay 4
Columbus 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 4
Dallas 3 FINAL
Anaheim 4
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Red Bull New York 2
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2013 preseason     
Aug 9 - vs. Houston 7 pmX27-13
Aug 16 - at Buffalo 6 pmX20-16
Aug 25 - at San Francisco 7 pmX34-14
Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee 7 pmX24-23
2013 regular season     
Sep 8 - at Detroit NoonX34-24
Sep 15 - at Chicago NoonX31-30
Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland NoonX31-27
Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London) NoonX34-27
Oct 6 - Bye
Oct 13 - vs. Carolina NoonX35-10
Oct 21 - at. NY Giants 7:40 pmX23-7
Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay 7:30 pmX44-31
Nov 3 - at Dallas NoonX27-23
Nov 7 - vs. Washington 7:25 pmX34-27
Nov 17 - at Seattle 3:25 pmX41-20
Nov. 24 - at Green Bay Noon26-26
Dec 1 - vs. Chicago NoonX23-20
Dec 8 - at Baltimore NoonX29-26
Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia NoonX48-30
Dec 22 - at Cincinnati NoonX42-14
Dec 29 - vs. Detroit NoonX14-13

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Will you boo Jared Allen when he returns with the Bears?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close