December 29, 2019 / 9:20 PM / a month ago

Bears beat Vikings' backups on late FG

EditorsNote: Updates with Vikings’ wild-card opponent, day in graf 4

Dec 29, 2019; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Chicago Bears running back Tarik Cohen (29) and running back Ryan Nall (35) celebrate a touchdown scored by running back David Montgomery (32) during the third quarter against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Eddy Pineiro drilled a 22-yard field goal with 10 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to lift the Chicago Bears to a 21-19 victory over the Minnesota Vikings in the regular-season finale on Sunday in Minneapolis.

Pineiro, who made field-goal attempts of 26, 33 and 34 yards in the first half, was given his fourth opportunity after Mitchell Trubisky connected with Riley Ridley on a 32-yard reception on a fourth-and-9 play earlier in the drive.

The Vikings (10-6), who were locked into the NFC’s sixth seed for the playoffs after last weekend, elected to make six starters inactive and essentially rested quarterback Kirk Cousins, running backs Dalvin Cook and rookie Alexander Mattison, wide receivers Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen, and linebackers Eric Kendricks and Anthony Barr.

With San Francisco beating Seattle 26-21 on Sunday night to clinch the NFC’s top seed, the Vikings will face the No. 3-seed Saints in New Orleans in a wild-card game next Sunday afternoon. The last time the Saints and Vikings met in the playoffs was the famous “Minnesota Miracle” game in Minneapolis two seasons ago, which the Vikings won 29-24 on a 61-yard touchdown pass on the game’s final play.

Trubisky completed 26 of 37 passes for 207 yards, and rookie David Montgomery finished with 113 yards and a touchdown on the ground for the Bears (8-8), who snapped a two-game skid and swept the Vikings for the second straight season.

Montgomery’s determined effort provided Chicago’s lone touchdown of the game on the first drive of the third quarter. The rookie bulled his way up the middle and kept his legs churning before receiving a sustained push from his teammates to find the end zone from 14 yards out and give the Bears an 18-6 lead.

Mike Boone, who rushed for 126 of his career-high 148 yards in the first half, trimmed the Vikings’ deficit to 18-13 with a 1-yard run over right tackle early in the fourth quarter.

Dan Bailey kicked a 39-yard field goal with just under nine minutes remaining, and followed defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo’s fumble recovery with a 34-yard kick with 4:53 left to give Minnesota a 19-18 lead.

Boone bolted out of the blocks with a 59-yard run on the first play from scrimmage before fumbling a pitch from quarterback Sean Mannion on the next play.

Pineiro capped a 12-play drive with his first kick, and the Bears doubled the advantage shortly after linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis’ interception set up a 33-yard boot.

Minnesota halved the deficit early in the second quarter after completing 14-play drive with Bailey’s 37-yard field goal.

A 57-yard punt from Pat O’Donnell backed the Vikings to their 1-yard line, and linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski wrapped up Boone in the end zone for safety. The Bears moved the ball again before settling for Pineiro’s 34-yard field goal, but Bailey connected from 38 yards out to shave Minnesota’s deficit to 11-6 at halftime.

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