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Vikings scrape by Bears for huge NFC North win

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Vikings scrape by Bears for huge NFC North win

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Kirk Cousins threw for a touchdown, Jordan Hicks returned a fumble 42 yards for a score and the Minnesota Vikings knocked Justin Fields out of the game in beating the Chicago Bears 19-13 on Sunday.

The Vikings (2-4) made enough plays without injured star receiver Justin Jefferson to shake off a loss to Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs and win for the second time in three games.

Fields was sacked four times and exited with a right hand injury early in the third quarter, and the Bears (1-5) lost again after stopping a 14-game slide at Washington last week.

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Fields seemed to be favoring his hand following a third-down sack by Danielle Hunter on Chicago’s first possession of the second half. The Bears punted, and Fields headed to the locker room.

Rookie Tyson Bagent came in and got strip-sacked by safety Josh Metellus on Chicago’s next drive. Hicks scooped up the loose ball near the left sideline and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown, making it 19-6.

Bagent — undrafted out of Division II Shepherd University — cut it to 19-13 midway through the fourth when he scored from the 1 for his first touchdown, capping a 77-yard drive.

The Bears were at the Minnesota 35 with about two minutes left in the game when Bagent underthrew DJ Moore on a deep pass. Byron Murphy Jr. picked it off at the 8, returned the ball 30 yards and recovered his fumble at the Vikings 45.

Alexander Mattison runs

Minnesota Vikings running back Alexander Mattison (2) rushes during the second half of an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears, Sunday, Oct. 15, 2023, in Chicago.  (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Cousins completed 21 of 31 passes for 181 yards. The four-time Pro Bowler threw a 10-yard touchdown to Jordan Addison near the end of the first half.

T.J. Hockenson caught six passes for 50 yards.

Addison, who figures to have a bigger role with Jefferson sidelined by a hamstring injury, had three receptions for 28 yards. Hunter had two of Minnesota’s five sacks, and the Vikings won their fifth in a row against Chicago.

Fields, coming off his two best games as a passer, was 6 of 10 for 58 yards and an interception. Bagent was 10 of 14 with 83 yards in his debut, and the Bears came away with the loss on a day when they paid tribute to Dick Butkus with a video and No. 51 uniform patches. It was their first home game since the Hall of Famer died on Oct. 5.

INJURIES

Vikings: LG Ezra Cleveland (foot) was hurt in the fourth quarter. … LB Marcus Davenport (ankle) exited early in the second quarter.

Bears: RG Nate Davis (ankle) exited in the first quarter. He was helped off the field when Fields fell on his leg after being hit by Metellus on a short pass.

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UP NEXT

Vikings: Host the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 23.

Bears: Host the Las Vegas Raiders on Oct. 22.

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