Cousins, Hicks lead way as Vikings knock out Fields, beat Bears 19-13
CHICAGO (AP) — The Minnesota Vikings took a cue from the Texas Rangers and decided to play a Creed song. They chose “Higher” and sent Chicago toward another low.
Kirk Cousins threw for a touchdown, Jordan Hicks returned a fumble 42 yards for a score and Minnesota knocked Justin Fields out of the game in beating the 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.
As for their pregame music?
Cousins said center Garrett Bradbury made it happen. And with the Rangers sweeping the American League’s winningest two teams on the way to baseball’s ALCS, why not?
“I felt like that may have made the difference,” Cousins said.
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.
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. Coach Matt Eberflus said afterward his quarterback’s hand was not broken, though he was unable to grip the ball.
Rookie Tyson Bagent came in and got strip-sacked by safety Josh Metellus on Chicago’s next drive. Jordan Hicks, who also had an interception, scooped up the loose ball near the left sideline and returned it 42 yards for a touchdown, making it 19-6.
“It just felt like he was not going to be denied a chance to be the guy or to go out there and respond,” coach Kevin O’Connell said. “How he was on the sideline, how he was all week in prep — I’m really, really happy with Jordan. Proud of him, as one of our core leaders showing up the way he did today.”
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.
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.
The Vikings had trouble keeping drives going, converting just 2 of 13 third downs, and finished with 220 yards.
“I felt like we would have a positive play, get to a manageable down and distance, and then we’d have a negative play, whether it was a penalty or go backward a little bit,” Cousins said. “And now, we’ve sort of shot ourselves in the foot in order to be able to extend the drive.”
Good thing for them, the defense delivered. Hunter had two of Minnesota’s five sacks, and the Vikings won their fifth in a row against Chicago.
The Bears, playing their first home game since Dick Butkus died on Oct. 5, wore No. 51 patches in honor of the Hall of Famer. They had the crowd roaring following a video tribute, but they gave their fans little else to cheer.
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.
Moore had 51 yards receiving coming off a career-best 230-yard outing, and the Bears dropped their 10th straight home game. It was a step back for a team with a chance to put together back-to-back wins for the first time since Weeks 16 and 17 of the 2021 season, when the Bears beat Seattle and the New York Giants.
“We could look at it that way,” Moore said. “We’ve got things to improve. We had a great game last Thursday but it didn’t carry over to today. So we’ve got to go back to the drawing board and somehow figure out what we did on Thursday to take to the next game.”
Vikings: LB Marcus Davenport (left ankle) and LG Ezra Cleveland (foot) left the game. Davenport, sidelined earlier this season by a right ankle injury, exited early in the second quarter. O’Connell said Cleveland’s injury was to his mid-foot and will be evaluated further.
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. ... S Eddie Jackson aggravated his injured foot in the first quarter and did not return.
Vikings: Host the San Francisco 49ers on Oct. 23.
Bears: Host the Las Vegas Raiders on Oct. 22. ___
AP NFL coverage: https://apnews.com/hub/NFL
Click here to download the Northern News Now app or our Northern News Now First Alert weather app.
Copyright 2023 Northern News Now. All rights reserved.