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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Vikings defense shares the blame for final Bears' drive


CHICAGO — The Minnesota Vikings locker room was eerily as quiet as Soldier Field at times when the Chicago Bears went scoreless in the second half up until the final game-winning touchdown pass with 10 seconds left.

Defensive end Brian Robison, who had a 61-yard touchdown off of a Jared Allen sack-fumble in the second quarter, spoke solemnly about the loss.

“Sometimes that’s the way it goes. You get into ball games like this, you fight your heart out and no matter how you fight, you come out on the short end,” Robison said. “Obviously 0-2 sucks, yeah, it hurts a little more than it normally would.”

The Vikings held the Bears without a point for the first 29:50 of the second half until Cutler’s 10-play, 66-yard drive put the game away with a 16-yard touchdown pass to tight end Martellus Bennett in the closing seconds.

Defensive tackle Letroy Guion added a strip-fumble on Bears’ running back Matt Forte in the second half and it appeared the Vikings would come away with their first victory in Chicago since 2007.

But Bennett’s touchdown over cornerback Chris Cook all but erased the Vikings’ defensive efforts — which held the Bears to 76 offensive yards and forced two turnovers in the second half before the final drive.

On that final play, safety Harrison Smith appeared to come over late to help, but was nowhere near making a play on the ball.

“We were in a two-deep shell,” Defensive coordinator Alan Williams said. “We were in a defense we ran two previous times…we’ll take a look and see if bodies were in the right positions.”

Smith, who intercepted Cutler on the first play of the fourth quarter, told reporters after the game he puts the blame on himself for the final touchdown as he was nowhere near in position to make a play.

Coach Leslie Frazier alluded to some bad calls on both sides of the ball by coaches.

“There were some general things that I definitely could have done better in that situation to help our coaches, but I didn’t,” Frazier said.

The Vikings’ defense held it’s own in the second half, but didn’t receive much help from the offense — a unit that produced three redzone drives in the final two quarters and came away with just nine points.

“You can’t have a six-point lead with 10 seconds left and lose,” Allen said. “We’re usually a better second-half team in Chicago. We knew we were right were we wanted, we were getting turnovers and didn’t flinch.”

Until the last play, when Cutler was forced into a 3rd-and-10 on the Vikings’ 16-yard line and saw the matchup of his 6-foot-6-inch tight end over the 6-foot-2-inch Chris Cook.

“It’s tough, but I’ve been in this spot before and won the division,” Allen said. “In 2008, we came back and won the division and went to the playoffs. You’ve always got a chance in this league.”


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