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Defense serves as catalyst in victory

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The Bears were sick and tired of hearing about the 1923 Rochester Jeffersons.

The Jeffersons were the only NFL team to allow more than 50 points in back-to-back games until the Bears accomplished the notorious feat in recent losses to the Patriots and Packers.

On Sunday, the defense led the Bears to an impressive 21-13 win over the Minnesota Vikings, allowing the fewest yards (249) and first downs (10) in 26 games under coach Marc Trestman. It also tied a Week 3 win over the Jets for the fewest points the Bears have permitted during that span.

"Call it 'rallying around each other' or whatever, but I think the sense of urgency was there," said defensive end Jared Allen. "You can only get beat up so many times before you fight back.

"People can question the character of the locker room, but we know what we have. And now honestly, we're in a take it week-by-week situation. This is playoff football for us now. We've got to try to stockpile these wins and see what happens at the end of the year."

After allowing an average of 36 points in losing five of six games, the Bears permitted only one touchdown Sunday—and that came after a fake punt resulted in a first down at the Chicago 7.

"It feels amazing," said safety Ryan Mundy. "Anytime you can hold a National Football League team under 17 points, that's definitely something to be proud of. We've just got to use this as a stepping stone moving in the right direction. But I'm proud of the guys. I'm proud of the way we fought and stuck together through thick and thin and the adversity of this game."

Not counting Andrew Sendejo's 48-yard run on a fake punt, the Bears held the Vikings to 48 yards on 15 rushes. They also pressured Teddy Bridgewater, who completed 18 of 28 passes for 158 yards with 1 TD, 1 interception and a 76.2 passer rating. The rookie quarterback was sacked twice, by ends Allen and Willie Young, who now leads the Bears with eight sacks.

"We just played aggressive, and I really think we have to focus on doing that," Allen said. "I think, for starters, we were able to shut down the run game early and force [Bridgewater] into throwing the ball. Our [secondary] did a heck of a job covering those guys.

"And even when we didn't sack him, we had him off his spot, off his mark, moving in the pocket. We didn't allow him to get out and get comfortable. Guys just played well off of each other."

The Bears only generated one takeaway, but it was an ultra-important one; Mundy clinched the win with an interception of Bridgewater in the end zone with :42 remaining.

"I just had to make sure I caught it," he said. "That was my focus. We needed a play."

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