CHICAGO — Aaron Rodgers says he owns the Chicago Bears.

He might want to see if they came with a gift receipt.

Why would anyone want these Bears?

The Vikings played a dilapidated version of a terrible team on Monday night at Soldier Field and, as the saying goes, did what they needed to do.

When they didn't do what they needed to do, the Bears did it for them.

The result was a 17-9 Vikings victory that looked and felt like someone tripping over a rake, falling down the stairs and landing on a feather mattress.

The victory was necessary for the Vikings. Whether it was necessary for anybody to spend three hours watching it is a different question.

This was must-unsee TV. In a game that should have been sponsored by a blindfold company, the Vikings improved to 7-7 with three games remaining and a chance to make the playoffs, which is a sure sign that too many teams make the playoffs.

"It's a crazy season," Vikings receiver Justin Jefferson said. "Nobody is standing out to be the No. 1 team."

The Vikings are still shooting to be No. 7, and it's hard to tell whether their worst losses or worst victories are … worse.

They lost to the Lions. They lost at home to a Browns team that was trying to dump Odell Beckham, Jr., while quarterback Baker Mayfield could barely throw the ball downfield.

They took a 29-0 lead at home against Pittsburgh and needed a defensive play in the end zone to secure a 36-28 win.

Monday night, the quality of play suggested the Vikings were on their way to either a devastating loss or an embarrassing victory.

The Bears were missing 14 players, including nine who started the previous week and their entire starting secondary, yet Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins managed just 12 completions in 24 attempts for 87 yards.

Unfortunately for the Bears, their head coach was able to work the sideline.

Starting a rookie quarterback who has looked shaky for most of the season, Bears coach Matt Nagy for some reason had his offense attack the current strength of the Vikings defense — a line featuring three run-stopping tackles, Michael Pierce, Dalvin Tomlinson and Sheldon Richardson, who was playing end.

The Bears bumbled around and lost two fumbles in the first half. They also missed a 49-yard field goal at the end of the half, earned the first offensive offside penalty in the NFL this season, and saw Nagy receive a 15-yard unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for arguing a call that the refs did, in fact, miss.

All that slop, and the Bears trailed just 10-3 at the half.

The Vikings weren't much better. Facing that shattered secondary, Cousins finished the first half 9-for-16 for just 60 yards, one touchdown and one interception. He added only 27 more yards in the second half.

"We played a good football team," Vikings coach Mike Zimmer said, without smirking.

With Adam Thielen inactive because of an ankle injury, the Vikings' best matchup was obvious: star receiver Justin Jefferson against the Bears' secondary.

Cousins capitalized with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Jefferson on which the Bears didn't seem to bother covering him, but his three catches for 34 yards in a half against this defense did not qualify as the Vikings pressing their advantage.

The Bears are a bad team preparing to clean house. They are playing a quarterback who seems to shine only on broken plays. Their once-notable home-field advantage has vanished. They have lost seven of their past eight games overall, and haven't won a home game since beating Detroit on Oct. 3.

And yet the Bears outgained the Vikings 155-93 in the first half, and 370-193 for the game.

The Bears reached 10 losses and the Vikings stayed alive, but the quality of play in the game is an argument for relegation, not expanded playoffs.

"I still believe they're well-coached," Zimmer said of the Bears.

Someone in the news conference should have thrown a challenge flag.