MINNEAPOLIS – Eddy Piñeiro's 22-yard field goal with :10 remaining lifted the Bears to a 21-19 win over the Vikings in Sunday's regular-season finale.
Facing a Minnesota team that rested most of its starters, the Bears blew an 18-6 fourth-quarter lead, allowing one touchdown and two field goals as the Vikings rallied to go ahead 19-18.
But the Bears marched 71 yards from their own 25 to the Vikings' 4 to set up Piñeiro's game-winner—his fourth field goal of the game without a miss. The highlight of the 15-play drive was Mitchell Trubisky's 32-yard pass to Riley Ridley on fourth-and-nine from the Chicago 49.
With the win, the Bears snapped a two-game losing streak and finished 8-8 on the season.
Vikings third-string running Mike Boone raced 59 yards to the Bears' 16 on the game's first play from scrimmage. But the second-year pro followed by committing two turnovers on Minnesota's next four plays.
First, Boone failed to secure a pitch from quarterback Sean Mannion and Bilal Nichols recovered at the Bears' 23. Trubisky followed by engineering a 12-play, 69-yard drive that was capped by Piñeiro's 26-yard field goal, which gave the Bears a 3-0 lead with 7:41 left in the first quarter.
The Bears followed with their second takeaway on as many possessions as Boone juggled a pass into the air that was intercepted by Kevin Pierre-Louis, who returned it two yards to the Vikings' 39.
After Trubisky was sacked on third-and-goal from the 9, the Bears settled for Piñeiro's 33-yard field goal, extending their lead to 6-0.
The Vikings cut the deficit to 6-3 on Dan Bailey's 37-yard field goal early in the second quarter. The kick came after Leonard Floyd pressured Mannion into a third-down incompletion that was nearly intercepted by Aaron Lynch.
The Bears increased their lead to 8-3 when Nick Kwiatkoski tackled Boone in the end zone for a safety. The safety came one play after Deon Bush had downed Pat O'Donnell's 57-yard punt at the Vikings' 1.
Piñeiro followed by making his third field goal, a 34-yarder, that widened the margin to 11-3 with 1:51 left in the half. It was the third time in as many red-zone possessions that the Bears settled for a field goal.
The Vikings were content to run out the clock at the end of the first half. But Boone broke loose for a 41-yard run to the Bears' 29, setting up Bailey's 38-yard field goal that closed the gap to 11-6 as time expired in the half.
As they've done much of the season, the Bears offense came out strong in the third quarter, marching 75 yards on nine plays capped by David Montgomery's 14-yard touchdown run. Offensive linemen James Daniels, Ted Larsen and Cornelius pushed Montgomery and the pile the final five yards.
The Vikings cut the deficit to 18-13 on Boone's 1-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. The score came after the Bears turned the ball over on downs at their own 43 when Trubisky was stopped for no gain on a fourth-and-one quarterback sneak.
Bailey's third field goal without a miss, a 39-yarder, closed the gap to 18-16 with 8:54 left in the fourth quarter.
The Bears then committed their first turnover of the game on Ifeadi Odenigbo's strip/sack of Trubisky. Odenigbo recovered the ball at the Bears' 23, leading to Bailey's 34-yard field goal, which gave the Vikings a 19-18 lead with 4:53 to play.