CHICAGO – The end is near. The Bears’ 2022 season will finally come to an end Sunday.
The Bears (3-13) will take on the Minnesota Vikings (12-4) at noon from Soldier Field. Matt Eberflus’ first season in charge will come to an end. For Justin Fields and the Bears, the attention will then turn toward the offseason.
Fields will sit out Sunday’s game with a hip injury. Instead, backup Nathan Peterman will start.
Follow @bears_insider for live updates all game long. Shaw Local Bears beat reporter Sean Hammond is covering the game live from Soldier Field. Follow him on Twitter at @sean_hammond and on Instagram at @bears_reporter. Reporter Jake Bartelson will also be reporting live from Soldier Field, follow him on Twitter at @JakeBartelson.
Week 18! Bears vs. Vikings kicks off at noon. Nathan Peterman will start in the season finale for Matt Eberflus’ Bears. pic.twitter.com/dlLWytM82i— Sean Hammond (@sean_hammond) January 8, 2023
Catch up on the latest Bears news below, and stay here all game long for live updates.
Vikings beat Bears
The Vikings closed out a 29-13 win over the Bears. The Bears dropped to 3-14 on the season.
Vikings’ kicker Greg Joseph makes his 3rd field goal
Vikings kicker Greg Joseph made his third field goal of the afternoon, this time a 41-yard try late in the fourth quarter. The Vikings extended their lead, 29-13.
The Bears put Tim Boyle back in the game at quarterback. A few minutes later, Boyle threw his second interception of the game. Again, he was looking for receiver Chase Claypool. Former Bears defensive back Duke Shelley picked off the pass from Boyle.
Greg Stroman picks off Nick Mullens
Bears cornerback Greg Stroman Jr. intercepted Minnesota quarterback Nick Mullens in the fourth quarter at Soldier Field.
For the Bears, cornerbacks Stroman and Harrison Hand were making their first starts of the season. Both created takeaways for the Bears’ defense. Hand forced a fumble earlier in the game.
The Bears took over possession, trailing by 13 points.
.@IAM_GSIII with the INT ‼️— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 8, 2023
📺: #MINvsCHI on FOX pic.twitter.com/cyCIWX8Ufd
Vikings tack on a field goal
Vikings kicker Greg Joseph made a 50-yard field goal to extend Minnesota’s lead, 26-13, early in the fourth quarter. The Vikings scored after an eight-play, 43-yard drive.
Cole Kmet finds the end zone
Bears tight end Cole Kmet caught a short pass from quarterback Nathan Peterman and fought his way to the goal line. Carrying a defender on his back, Kmet reached out and crossed the plane for a touchdown.
The Bears cut into the Vikings’ lead, 23-13. The Bears put Peterman back into the game after halftime. Tim Boyle had played quarterback during the second quarter.
.@ColeKmet battles his way into the end zone 😤— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 8, 2023
📺: #MINvsCHI on FOX pic.twitter.com/g20Rgb9tk3
Mullens subs in for Cousins; Vikings score after halftime
The Vikings received the kickoff at the start of the second half and later scored on a 1-yard touchdown run from running back Alexander Mattison. The Vikings replaced starting quarterback Kirk Cousins with backup Nick Mullens to start the drive.
Mullens led the Vikings 75 yards on 11 plays to score a touchdown. The Vikings extended their lead, 23-6, early in the third quarter.
Penalty erases Vikings field goal
Just before halftime, the Vikings appeared to add a field goal in the final seconds of the second quarter. Kirk Cousins completed a pass to Dalvin Cook, but it was short of the end zone. With the clock running and no timeouts remaining, the Vikings had 12 seconds to send their field goal unit onto the field.
They sprinted on and made a chip shot field goal, but Bears coach Matt Eberflus argued that the clock hit zero first. Eberflus remained on the field as his team left to head back to the locker room.
After review, the refs ruled that the Vikings had 12 men on the field during the field goal try. They were given a penalty and the field goal was wiped off the board.
The Vikings brought a lead, 16-6, into halftime.
Velus Jones Jr. scores a touchdown
Bears receiver Velus Jones Jr. found just enough room along the sideline, with the help of blocks from Khari Blasingame and Chase Claypool, and tightroped his way to the end zone. It went for a 42-yard touchdown run for Jones.
The Bears made the extra point, but the Vikings were called for a penalty. With the ball moved up, the Bears went for two points but failed to convert.
The Vikings held onto a 10-point margin, 16-6, with 3:31 to go in the second quarter.
V12 toes the line for the 42 yd touchdown ⚡️— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 8, 2023
📺: #MINvsCHI on FOX pic.twitter.com/EIQNOfdcQG
QB Tim Boyle enters the game for the Bears, throws interception
The Bears replaced quarterback Nathan Peterman with Tim Boyle. The Bears signed Boyle off the Detroit Lions’ practice squad in late November when backup Trevor Siemian suffered an oblique injury.
Boyle entered the game and threw an interception on third down. Receiver Chase Claypool ran an intermediate route, then turned around to look for the ball. Boyle, meanwhile, thought Claypool was going deep and tossed the ball up for grabs. Vikings cornerback Patrick Peterson came down with the football for an interception.
.@P2 picks it!!!— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) January 8, 2023
📺: @NFLonFOX pic.twitter.com/omF9yVLGer
Boyle has appeared in 16 previous NFL games with the Packers and Lions.
The Vikings turned the interception into a field goal on the following possession. Kicker Greg Joseph made a 28-yard field goal try. The Vikings extended their lead, 16-0.
Vikings go up by two possessions
The Vikings added a touchdown on a 1-yard run from running back Alexander Mattison. The score capped off a 12-play, 66-yard drive by the Vikings. The Vikings went ahead, 13-0, with 9:20 remaining in the second quarter.
Mattison takes it in for the @Vikings!— NFL (@NFL) January 8, 2023
📺: #MINvsCHI on FOX
📱: Stream on NFL+ https://t.co/pLsrwfIfLr pic.twitter.com/i4q0KbHfMM
Bears force fumble
Bears cornerback Harrison Hand, who was making his first start of the season, stripped Vikings running back Dalvin Cook on a second-down run in Bears’ territory. Bears linebacker Joe Thomas recovered the fumble at the Bears’ own 29-yard line.
The Bears took over with 4:12 remaining in the first quarter, trailing by a touchdown.
Harrison got a Hand on it ✋— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) January 8, 2023
📺: #MINvsCHI on FOX pic.twitter.com/WuZ9UTNq4V
Vikings score on a quick drive
The Bears received the opening kickoff but went three-and-out and punted. Kirk Cousins and the Vikings’ offense drove 73 yards on four plays to score an easy touchdown.
Cousins connected with receiver K.J. Osborn for a 66-yard completion on third-and-7. Osborn went out of bounds at the 4-yard line.
Airing it out 🎯@KirkCousins8 @KJ_Osborn— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) January 8, 2023
📺: @NFLonFOX pic.twitter.com/uZ9t47vqRZ
Cousins threw a touchdown pass to receiver Adam Theilen on the following play.
The Vikings took a lead, 6-0, after missing the extra point. The Bears started Greg Stroman Jr. and Harrison Hand at their two cornerback spots.
Inactives and injury updates
Fields will not play in Sunday’s game. For him, the focus will quickly turn toward next season.
The Bears placed guards Teven Jenkins and Michael Schofield, as well as cornerback Josh Blackwell on injured reserve this week. They will not play Sunday.
Inactive for the Bears on Sunday is Fields, cornerback Kyler Gordon, running back Darrynton Evans, cornerback Jaylon Jones, linebacker Sterling Weatherford, linebacker Terrell Lewis and defensive tackle Angelo Blackson.
#Bears inactives:— Sean Hammond (@sean_hammond) January 8, 2023
QB Justin Fields
CB Kyler Gordon
RB Darrynton Evans
CB Jaylon Jones
LB Sterling Weatherford
LB Terrell Lewis
DL Angelo Blackson
Gordon is out due to a groin injury. Jones has a concussion. Weatherford has been dealing with an illness this week.
Gordon, Jones, Blackwell and Jaylon Johnson are all out at cornerback for the Bears. Suiting up at the cornerback position will be Breon Borders, Harrison Hand, Michael Ojemudia and Greg Stroman Jr.
[ Young Bears corners look to impress against record-seeking Justin Jefferson ]
What to expect from the Vikings
A win is meaningless for the Bears, but the Vikings are preparing for the playoffs next week. Kirk Cousins and the Vikings starters are expected to play in the game, but the question is for how long? The Vikings still have some playoff seeding implications up for grabs, but they are no longer in play for the No. 1 seed in the NFC.
Meanwhile, the Bears could benefit from a loss. If the Bears lose and the Houston Texans beat the Indianapolis Colts, the Bears would earn the No. 1 overall draft pick in the spring. With a win, the Bears could wind up picking as low as No. 4 overall, depending what happens across the league.
Here’s five things to watch in Sunday’s game. Does anybody think the Bears have a shot in this game?
For your pregame listening needs, head over to the Shaw Local Bears Insider podcast.
What else did I miss this week?
Here’s what else was happening at Halas Hall this week.
[ Chicago Bears team owner Virginia Halas McCaskey turns 100 on Thursday ]
[ Agent: Bills safety Damar Hamlin breathing on his own, able to talk ]
[ Chicago Bears players grapple with violence of football in aftermath of Damar Hamlin’s collapse ]
[ Chicago Bears sign WR Equanimeous St. Brown to 1-year extension, per reports ]