Bears

Bears blow fourth quarter lead, fall to Vikings in final seconds

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Bears blow fourth quarter lead, fall to Vikings in final seconds

It looked like Jay Cutler was going to add another game-winning fourth quarter drive to his resume. 

However, it was a quarterback on the other sidelines that stole the "Mr. 4th Quarter" moniker on Sunday.

With under five minutes remaining, Teddy Bridgewater led the Minnesota Vikings on back-to-back fourth quarter scoring drives as the Minnesota Vikings beat the Bears 23-20 at Soldier Field on Sunday afternoon.

Blair Walsh drilled a 36-yard field goal as time expired to snap Minnesota's eight-year losing streak at Soldier Field. Before Walsh's game-winning field goal, Bridgewater connected with emerging rookie wide receiver Stefon Diggs on the previous possession for a 40-yard touchdown to even the score at 20-20 with under two minutes remaining. 

Despite playing with a makeshift offensive line which only had one Week 1 starter still at the same position (Kyle Long at right tackle) and losing Pro Bowl running back Matt Forte to a knee injury in the second half, Cutler engineered a 14-play, 74-yard scoring drive late in the fourth quarter that looked as if would be the game-winning score for the Bears. Cutler capped off the drive by lowering his shoulder on Vikings safety Harrison Smith and plowing into the end zone for a four-yard touchdown. Cutler finished the game 22-of-32 for 211 yards, two total touchdowns and zero turnovers.

[NBC SHOP: Gear up Bears fans!]

Before Bridgewater's heroics, the Bears defense had held Minnesota in check.

It's been an up-and-down year thus far for Vic Fangio's unit, but the Bears young defense, playing in its first game without veteran defensive lineman Jeremiah Ratliff who was released earlier this week, held the Vikings to just 6 points before fourth quarter outburst — the Vikings other touchdown came in the form of a Marcus Sherels 65-yard punt return in the first half.  

With the Bears going through the motions for nearly 25 minutes, much-maligned second-year cornerback Kyle Fuller stayed inside a curl route by Diggs and turned at the right time to pick Brigewater who zeroed in on the rookie. Before Fuller's takeaway, the Bears were one of only two teams, the Jacksonville Jaguars being the other, to not have an interception from a defensive back this season.  

The Bears offense turned the turnover into immediate points just before the first half ended as Cutler found his favorite target Alshon Jeffery (10 receptions, 116 yards) for a 21-yard touchdown in the corner of the end zone to even the game at 10-10 and give the Bears momentum heading into the locker room.

The Bears (2-5) will look to get back on track when they travel to San Diego to take on the Chargers next Monday night.

NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

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NFC North standings: Bears fall to last in division with Week 7 loss to Patriots

The great Ricky Bobby once said, “If you ain’t first, you’re last.” Talladega Nights hit a little too close to home for the Bears in Week 7.

They came into Sunday at 3-2 at the top of the NFC North. After a 38-31 loss to the New England Patriots, they dropped to the bottom of the division.

The Detroit Lions defeated the Miami Dolphins 32-21 to improve to 3-3, leaving them tied with the Bears in the cellar.

The Minnesota Vikings’ 37-17 victory over the New York Jets jumped them to 4-2-1 overall and first place in the division over the 3-2-1 Green Bay Packers, who were off for their bye week.

The NFC North remains the most tightly contested division in the NFL, the only one with no teams under .500 through seven weeks of the season.

The final standings may not be decided until Week 17, and the Bears have already blown the early season cushion they built for themselves while the Vikings and Packers were struggling.

The divisional action will pick up in November, and Chicago only has a pair of games left to put it all together before back-to-back-to-back games against the Lions, Vikings and Lions again.    

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

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USA TODAY

Under Center Podcast: Bears lose 38-31 to the Patriots

Matt Forte, Lance Briggs and Alex Brown join Laurence Holmes to break down the Bears 38-31 loss to the Patriots. What happened to the Bears defense over their bye week, and how did the special teams struggle so bad against New England? Plus – the guys debate Mitchell Trubisky’s decision making in the red zone and Matt weighs in on how the Bears should play his former team – the New York Jets – next week.

0:35– Special teams to blame for loss?

4:12– Where did the Bears pass rush go? 

5:27– Bad tackling followed Bears from Miami

7:25– Are the coaches to blame for the defense after the bye?

10:10– Evaluating Mitchell Trubisky’s game

11:55– Agree with Matt Nagy on Mitch’s “mental” game?

13:30– Trubisky’s red zone decision making

17:10– Are the Bears giving away games so Mitch can learn?

18:00– Bears need to run the ball more

21:04– Matt Forte scouts his former team, the New York Jets

Listen to the full podcast here or in the embedded player below.

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