1. Jumpy Bears were 'undisciplined'
The Vikings changed Teddy Bridgewater's cadence heading into Sunday's game and boy, did it work. Bears linemen jumped offsides four times, including twice on third down in the red zone. Both red-zone infractions led to the Vikings scoring touchdowns on the next play. "They're kind of undisciplined up front with the snap count," left guard Brandon Fusco said. "We saw that on film. That's why we do that stuff. Keep them guessing." Chicago linebacker Lamarr Houston, who had three offsides entering the game, jumped twice in the first half. The second offset a holding call, negating a sack and giving the Vikings another crack at third-and-7 from the Bears 17 with 33 seconds left in the first half. On the next snap, Bridgewater threw a TD pass to Jerick McKinnon.
2. Wallace finally gets 'the look'
Receiver Mike Wallace knew the ball was coming to him deep down the field when the Vikings lined up against a Cover 2 look from their 46 with 2:34 left in the first half. "We practice that play all the time, but when we run it, we never get that look," Wallace said. "When I saw Cover 2, I knew the safeties would be splitting and all I'd have to do is beat the [inside] linebacker down the middle." Poor Shea McClellin. The inside backer's assignment on that play was to run stride for stride with Wallace 30 yards downfield. He lost by three strides. With perfect protection, Bridgewater launched a pass that traveled 29 yards from the line of scrimmage. The result was a 34-yard gain, Wallace's longest of the season. Three plays later, the Vikings scored a touchdown. "It better work like that if a linebacker is checking me," Wallace said. "Against that look, I'm supposed to just run and look back because the ball should be coming my way."
3. Greenway going strong
The first quarter ended without the Bears recording a first down. That's because linebacker Chad Greenway sacked Jay Cutler on third-and-5 as the Bears went three-and-out on their first two possessions. "Just a called pressure; an opportunity to get me on the running back and win the matchup," Greenway said. "It was big for us to get off the field early and build a bit of a cushion." Perhaps it's time to stop treating Greenway as if he were just a ceremonial locker room leader at age 32. He has remained healthy and productive all season. He was taken out of the nickel in favor of younger players this season. But Sunday was the fourth time he has played the whole game because of injuries to rookie Eric Kendricks earlier this season and second-year player Anthony Barr the past two games. "I know I can play at a high level," Greenway said. "I've done it for a long time. I think sometimes people forget that."
4. Yes, Walsh called bank shot
When things are going as well as they were for the Vikings on Sunday, kickers make 53-yarders by banking the ball off the left upright. But did Blair Walsh call the shot? Well, kind of. "It came off my foot going left to right, so I knew if it hit the upright it would bank in," said Walsh, whose kick gave the Vikings a 10-0 lead. "But about 15 yards out, I thought it was going to curl in." Walsh said 53 yards was the peak distance going against the wind into that end zone. But the ball clanked about three-quarters of the way up the post and would have had the distance from beyond 60. "I caught it," said Walsh, who is 4-for-6 on 50-plus kicks this year and 21-for-30 for his career.
5. Trae the TD-saving tackler
If the start of Sunday's game looked a lot like the start of the Seattle game two weeks earlier, that's because it was. Seattle returned the opening kickoff 47 yards. Sunday, Deonte Thompson took the opening kickoff and went 49 yards to the 50. In both cases, rookie first-round draft pick Trae Waynes made touchdown-saving tackles at nearly the exact same point on the field. "Yeah, pretty much the same play," Waynes said. "[Thompson] is a fast guy. He found a hole and hit it hard." Walsh slowed Thompson down, which helped Waynes. "You have to be confident in that situation," Waynes said. "I knew I could run him down."