MIN-CHI Grades: Bridgewater, Diggs push for last-minute win
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Vikings’ 23-20 victory over the Bears.
– Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (-1.1) helped move the Vikings into the game-tying TD and game-winning FG in the last two minutes; however, most of the work was done by the receivers, with Stefon Diggs (+2.0) taking a short pass for a TD and Charles Johnson (+1.4) winning on a jump ball. On the game tying-touchdown, it was a 10-yard route that Stefon Diggs (WR +2.0) took to the house from 30 yards out. Bridgewater did make some plays, most of which were against the blitz; when the Bears blitzed Bridgewater, he had a +1.3 grade, compered to a -2.4 when not blitzed.
– One of the surprise players this season has been Stefon Diggs, and once again, he did not disappoint. This was his third straight game over +2.0, and he is now our ninth-ranked WR, at 87.4. Against the Bears, Diggs was held mostly in check until the Vikings needed it most. He showed why he is always a threat for the Vikings, as he tied the game up with a 40-yard touchdown with two minutes left.
– The Vikings’ defense was able to pressure Cutler on 56 percent of his dropbacks (highest in the league for Week 8). The Vikings hit/sacked Cutler seven times, and only one defensive lineman recorded a negative grade as a pass rusher. The Vikings’ best pass rusher was linebacker Anthony Barr (+1.6 overall, +2.1 pass rusher), who recorded four total pressures.
OL Michael Harris (+4.6)
FB Zach Line (+3.1)
DL Everson Griffen (+2.2)
DL Danielle Hunter (+2.0)
WR Stefon Diggs (+2.0)
– The Bears tried to limit Jay Cutler’s (+2.0) mistakes in the first half by dialing up a lot of short passes and screen passes. Once the second half hit, the Bears started to open up the play calling, and targeted WR Alshon Jeffery (+3.4) on deeper passes; when Cutler and Jeffery start connecting, it looked like the Bears had an offense that had some threat to it. Outside of this connection, the Chicago’s passing looked tame.
– While the Bears struggled in pass protection, they where an effective run blocking unit, with all five offensive lineman grading positively as run blockers. The Bears line was able to move the Vikings’ front, especially effectively on their double team blocks, frequently moving defenders to the second level and opening up holes for both Matt Forte (-2.1) and Jeremy Langford (-4.4)
– The only Bears’ defender to have a grade over +1.0 was CB Kyle Fuller (+2.6). Fuller was targeted seven times, allowing two catches for 24 yards, with an interception and a pass deflection. The interception came against Stefon Diggs, when Fuller undercut the in-route to take the ball away.
WR Alshon Jeffery (+3.4)
OL Kyle Long (+3.3)
CB Kyle Fuller (+2.6)
C Matt Slauson (+2.6)
QB Jay Cutler (+2.0)