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Quick Hits: Smith provides bright spot in defeat


Bears inside linebacker Roquan Smith delivered another All Pro-caliber performance in Monday night's 19-13 loss to the Vikings at Soldier Field.

The 2018 first-round pick recorded a team-high 14 tackles, the Bears' only sack of Kirk Cousins and three tackles-for-loss. Smith now leads the NFL with 15 tackles-for-loss this season, leap-frogging Steelers teammates T.J. Watt and Vince Williams, both of whom have 14.

Smith is also tied for the NFL lead in tackles with 96 with Giants linebacker Blake Martinez. In addition, Smith's four games this year with at least 10 tackles and two tackles-for-loss are the most in the league.

Backfield in motion: Running back David Montgomery missed his first game in two seasons with the Bears due to a concussion he sustained Nov. 1 in a loss to the Titans. Montgomery entered Week 10 ranked 13th in the NFL in rushing with a team-high 472 yards and one touchdown on 131 carries.

Without Montgomery Monday night, the Bears rushed for 41 yards on 17 attempts with a long gain of just six yards. Cordarrelle Patterson ran for 30 yards on 12 carries, Artavis Pierce added nine yards on three attempts and Ryan Nall was stopped for no gain on his only carry. Veteran running back Lamar Miller was activated off the practice squad hours before the game, but his only touches came on two receptions for six yards.

Also sitting out with injuries Monday night were quarterback Mitchell Trubisky (right shoulder), center Sam Mustipher (knee), defensive tackle John Jenkins (ankle) and safety Sherrick McManis (hand). Other inactives were recently-signed defensive tackle Anthony Rush and rookie outside linebacker Trevis Gipson.

Toeing the line: After missing the previous two games, center Cody Whitehair was activated off the reserve/COVID-19 list Monday and returned to the starting lineup. He was joined by left tackle Charles Leno Jr., left guard Alex Bars, right guard Germain Ifedi and right tackle Rashaad Coward.

Top of class: The Bears defense entered Week 10 ranked No. 1 in the NFL in both third-down efficiency (31.0) and red-zone touchdown percentage (41.9). But they allowed the Vikings to convert 8-of-15 third-down plays (53 percent) and score two TDs on three red-zone possessions (67 percent).

Kicking it: Bears kicker Cairo Santos made field goals of 23 and 42 yards without a miss, extending his streak to 14 straight field goals since his last miss in a Week 3 win over the Falcons. This season Santos has connected on 17-of-19 field-goal attempts (89.5 percent) and 18 of 18 extra points.

Just one flag: The Bears entered Week 10 leading the NFL with 63 penalties and tied for the most penalty yardage (571). On Monday night, they were flagged just once for five yards, an offside penalty on Danny Trevathan on the game's opening possession. 

Inside the division: Monday night's loss was the first for the Bears under coach Matt Nagy in five meetings with the Vikings. Nagy is now 10-4 versus NFC North opponents, with four games remaining this season: in Green Bay Nov. 29 and in Minnesota Dec. 20 and at home versus the Lions Dec. 6 and Packers Jan. 3. Nagy's two predecessors were a combined 6-24 against division rivals: Marc Trestman (3-9) and John Fox (3-15).

Rare home loss: Monday night's defeat was only the Bears' fourth in their last 20 home games against the Vikings. Previous defeats to Minnesota at Soldier Field came in 2007, 2015 and 2017.

Prime-time players: Even with their loss to the Vikings, the Bears are 16-8 on Monday Night Football since 2006 after they went 4-14 from 1991-2003. They were 0-2 this year, losing to the Rams 24-10 Oct. 26 in Los Angeles before falling to Minnesota. The Bears are now 31-40 all-time on Monday Night Football, 17-15 at home and 15-25 on the road.

Four of the Bears' last five home games against the Vikings have been played at night. The Bears won 20-10 in 2016 and lost 20-17 in 2017 on Monday Night Football and won 25-20 in 2018 on Sunday Night Football.

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