Kirk Cousins, Vikings overcome Patterson return TD to beat Bears


Kirk Cousins threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns, and the Minnesota Vikings overcame a 104-yard kickoff return by Chicago’s Cordarrelle Patterson to beat the Bears 19-13 on Monday night.

Cousins won for the first time in 10 career Monday night starts. He hit Adam Thielen with a 6-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to put Minnesota ahead 19-13, and the Vikings (4-5) hung on for their third straight win. They also snapped a four-game losing streak against Chicago (5-5).

Bears quarterback Nick Foles got taken from the field on a cart in the game’s final minute. He landed on his right, throwing shoulder when he was slammed to the ground by Minnesota’s Ifeadi Odenigbo as he threw the ball away.

Patterson joined Josh Cribbs and Leon Washington as the only players with eight kick returns for touchdowns when he ran back the opening kickoff of the second half to give Chicago a 13-7 lead. It was the longest kickoff return in franchise history, surpassing Gale Sayers’ 103-yarder against Pittsburgh on Sept. 17, 1967.

Still, the Bears lost their fourth in a row, matching their longest skid since coach Matt Nagy was hired in 2018.

Cousins completed 25 of 36 passes. He threw two touchdowns to Thielen, who made a one-handed grab on a first-quarter score.

Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook ran for 96 yards on 30 attempts, and Justin Jefferson caught eight passes for 135 yards. The defence did not allow an offensive touchdown for the first time in 20 games, including the playoffs, and the Vikings won for just the fourth time in 18 games at Soldier Field since it reopened in 2003 following renovations.

With offensive co-ordinator Bill Lazor calling the plays after Nagy handed off those duties in an effort to lift a unit that ranks near the bottom of the NFL, the Bears managed 149 yards. It was their lowest total since they had 147 against San Francisco on Dec. 3, 2017.

Foles threw for 106 yards and an interception. It was a far cry from his previous start against the Vikings, when he led Philadelphia past them in the NFC championship game on the way to a Super Bowl title in 2018.

Khalil Mack had his first interception since 2018. But the Bears continued to fade after a 5-1 start.

The Bears led 13-7 when Chicago’s Dwayne Harris muffed a punt. The Vikings’ Josh Metellus recovered at the 20, leading to Dan Bailey’s 37-yard field goal. Bailey added a tying 43-yarder with just under two minutes left in the third.



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