1. It's OK to punt, KO
Vikings head coach Kevin O'Connell should have punted on fourth-and-7 from his 49 while tied 3-3 in the third. A 6-yard completion was essentially a third turnover. The Bears had gone three-and-out after both of Joshua Dobbs' first-half interceptions. So flip the field and trust the defense to get the ball right back near midfield. Instead, the Bears converted their first two third downs since the opening drive to lead 6-3 after a 34-yard drive. Next possession, O'Connell went for it on fourth-and-3 from Chicago's 44. Not terrible, but … Dobbs threw his third pick, the Bears "drove" 32 yards, kicked a 55-yarder and led 9-3. Punting isn't always a bad thing, KO.
2. Only five touches for Chandler?
The Vikings found the cure for their first-quarter turnover woes: Possess the ball for only 1:39 while running three plays for minus-7 yards. Their four turnovers would come later. What wouldn't come was any sense of a balanced offensive attack. Ty Chandler is the team's best, most explosive and instinctive runner. He got four carries and five touches for a grand total of 11 yards from scrimmage. He continues to be underused as the Vikings threw the ball 32 times and ran it 17. The Bears did come in ranked No. 1 in run defense (79.5) and second in fewest yards per carry (3.39). But Chandler needs more touches.
3. Ivan Pace Jr., Edge Rusher?
The most beautiful play of a very ugly first half came on defense, obviously. It was 5-10 inside linebacker Ivan Pace Jr. getting his first full NFL sack as an edge rusher off right tackle on the game's opening possession. Yet another wrinkle from defensive coordinator Brian Flores put the little Tasmanian Defender one on one with running back Roschon Johnson. Johnson had no chance, giving up the 5-yard sack on second-and-8 from the Vikings 24. The Bears had converted three straight third downs to open the game. They failed after Pace's sack, missed a field goal, and the two teams finished the half a combined 0 for 10 on third down.
4. Bears tried to lose, but …
The Bears finally met their match when it comes to insisting that the other team win the game. Chicago had seven penalties for 76 yards. A 26-yard pass interference penalty handed the Vikings a 25-yard field goal. The Vikings failed to convert their first six third downs, but the Bears helped them out with penalties third-and-5 and third-and-9. On the third-and-5, the Bears actually had two players commit penalties — defensive holding and illegal contact. Didn't matter. Dobbs ended both of those possessions by throwing interceptions. The Vikings head into their bye even in wins and losses (6-6) but minus-8 in turnover differential. Only Washington (minus-9) is worse.
5. Getsy still doesn't get Fields
It's often painful watching Bears offensive coordinator Luke Getsy call a game for an outside-the-pocket athlete like Justin Fields. Fields wasn't, isn't and never will be a pocket player. He's also safer in a moving pocket. Inside the pocket, he's robotic, slow and ineffective. Pace sacked him. Josh Metellus dropped him for a 13-yard loss. D.J. Wonnum batted down a pass easily. The Bears led the Lions by 12 with under five minutes left in Week 11 and lost because Getsy went run, run, pocket-pass incompletion. The jury's still out on Fields, whose two late fumbles nearly lost Monday's game. But Getsy isn't doing him any favors, despite Monday's win.