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Rapid Recap: Bears rally to knock off Vikings on Monday Night Football

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MINNEAPOLIS – The Bears lost a fourth-quarter lead Monday night in Minnesota for the second straight week. But this time they rallied for an exciting 12-10 victory on Cairo Santos' fourth field goal of the game, a 30-yarder, with :10 remaining.

The Bears defense registered four interceptions of Joshua Dobbs and held the Vikings out of the end zone until Dobbs' 17-yard touchdown pass to tight end T.J. Hockenson gave Minnesota a 10-9 lead with 5:44 left in the fourth quarter.

Justin Fields then rebounded after losing two fourth-quarter fumbles to put the Bears in position to win. The third-year pro completed a 36-yard pass over the middle to DJ Moore to the Minnesota 13 on third-and-10, setting up Santos' decisive field goal.

"I really just wanted to prove to my teammates that I had their back," Fields said. "The way the defense was playing all game, I had to come back and at least give us a chance at the end. It felt great. Those two fumbles, adversity's hitting. After the second one, I was sick to my stomach. But the defense [forced] a three-and-out and we got the ball back. When you do have that opportunity at the end of the game, everything before that is out the window."

The Bears defense provided that opportunity with a stellar performance, generating four takeaways for the second straight game and limiting the Vikings to one offensive touchdown and fewer than 250 total yards for the second time this season. The unit held Minnesota to 2-of-9 on third down (22.2%) and 0-of-2 on fourth down.

"Defense creates momentum in a lot of different ways," said coach Matt Eberflus. "They do it through third-down stops, they do it through big hits, and they do it through taking the ball away. That's what we always preach to the guys, and they did all three things today."

Monday night's victory was particularly satisfying after the Bears had allowed the Lions to score 17 points in the final 2:59 last Sunday to turn a 26-14 deficit into a 31-26 win in Detroit.

"We all showed character tonight after not finishing last week and then kind of that sticking with us this week," Santos said. "Getting the job done today was awesome for our team."

"After last week we wanted to do the same thing, but just stick the knife in them," said safety Eddie Jackson. "We wanted to go four quarters. It wasn't pretty. We've got things to clean up on that touchdown drive. But overall, the defense, I feel like we played lights out."

Jaylon Johnson, Kyler Gordon, Jaquan Brisker and T.J. Edwards all registered interceptions, while Montez Sweat recorded 1.5 sacks, splitting one with Brisker.

Throwing mostly short, quick passes, Fields completed 27 of 37 for 217 yards and an 87.3 passer rating and rushed for a game-high 59 yards on 12 carries. He was sacked three times. Moore led all receivers with 11 catches for 114 yards.

With the win, the Bears improved to 4-8 and are now 4-4 since beginning the season 0-4.

The Bears opened the game by marching to the Vikings' 24. But their drive stalled following a sack of Fields, and Santos missed a 48-yard field goal attempt wide right. Fields completed 8 of 8 passes for 37 yards on the possession.

Santos later gave the Bears a 3-0 lead, capping their second drive with a 25-yard field goal early in the second quarter. Fields sustained the possession with a 24-yard pass to a wide-open Cole Kmet on fourth-and-10 from the Minnesota 38.

At that point in the game, the Bears held decisive advantages over the Vikings in total yards (119-to-minus 7), first downs (7-0) and time of possession (14:46-1:39).

The defense continued to assert its dominance as Johnson intercepted an underthrown pass intended for Jordan Addison and returned it 20 yards. But the offense failed to pick up a first down and the Bears were forced to punt.

The defense followed with a second straight interception as Brisker picked off a Dobbs pass that caromed high in the air off Addison's hands at the Bears' 35. But the offense once again was unable to capitalize on the turnover.

Greg Joseph's 34-yard field goal as time expired in the first half tied the score 3-3. The kick came after Dobbs completed a 28-yard pass to receiver Brandon Powell and Gordon drew a 26-yard pass interference penalty.

Before their field goal drive, the Vikings had not crossed the 50 on their first four possessions, mustering just 24 yards on 16 plays against a stifling Bears defense.

Gordon made a key play on the opening drive of the second half, wrestling Hockenson out of bounds inches short of a first down after a 6-yard reception on fourth-and-7 from the Minnesota 49.

Check out the on-field action as the Bears face off against the Vikings in primetime at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Santos followed with a 39-yard field goal, giving the Bears a 6-3 lead with 6:59 left in the third quarter. The kick came after Moore was dropped for no gain on a quick screen pass on third-and-2 from the Vikings' 21.

The defense made its second straight fourth-down stop as Edwards intercepted a Dobbs pass at the Bears' 30 that was broken up by Johnson on fourth-and-3 from the Chicago 44.

Santos then booted a 55-yard field goal, extending the Bears' lead to 9-3 with 14:15 remaining in the fourth quarter.

The defense followed with its fourth interception as Justin Jones juggled a short Dobbs pass into the air and Gordon dove to pick it off at the Vikings' 38, hanging onto the ball despite slamming into Jones.

In field-goal range at the Minnesota 22, Fields was stripped of the ball by outside linebacker Danielle Hunter and defensive lineman Sheldon Day recovered at the 23.

The Vikings capitalized on the turnover, taking a 10-9 lead on Dobbs' TD pass to Hockenson.

Fields then lost a second fumble with 3:28 to play on a scramble. But after the defense forced a three-and-out, the Bears quarterback rebounded to direct a two-minute drive that resulted in the winning field goal. 

"The second [fumble] was a backbreaker," Fields said. "But guys never wavered. I told the guys in the locker room I appreciate them for sticking beside me and believing in me. The defense did a great job getting us the ball back for that last drive and the offense did a great job executing those plays."

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