CHI-MIN Grades: Xavier Rhodes continues hot second half of season
Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the Minnesota Vikings’ 38-17 win over the Chicago Bears:
– Teddy Bridgewater (+1.6) had one of the more interesting stat lines that you’ll see from a quarterback. Going 17-of-20 for 231 yards and four touchdowns, his three incompletions came in the form of two drops and a batted pass. With that in mind, his grade of +1.6 might seem low, but it speaks to what he was asked to do in the offense against the Bears. He attempted just two passes of 10 yards or further downfield, with 176 of his 231 passing yards coming after the catch.
– After some struggles earlier in the year, third-year cornerback Xavier Rhodes (+1.9) continued a much improved second half of the season on Sunday. Targeted eight times by the Bears, he gave up just four receptions for 40 yards, including a pass breakup. As the Vikings continue their push towards the postseason, an improved Rhodes will be a key on defense.
– One player stood out as struggling for the Vikings, though: linebacker Chad Greenway. Often found just a step or two away from the play, he had a missed tackle and got pushed around somewhat against the run. It’s been a rough season for the 32-year-old, but this was his lowest graded game (-3.9) of the year.
TE Rhett Ellison +2.3
C Joe Berger +1.9
CB Xavier Rhodes +1.9
DE Everson Griffen +1.6
QB Teddy Bridgewater +1.6
– It wasn’t a day to remember for quarterback Jay Cutler (-3.9), and not just because he threw an interception straight to Vikings defensive end Justin Trattou (+0.7) on a screen pass. Cutler completed just one of the seven passes he attempted 10 yards or more downfield, and struggled even when the Vikings didn’t get home with pressure, with a grade of -4.1 on those drop backs.
– His return to the field after a week out saw him play just 22 of Chicago’s 63 defensive snaps, but Pernell McPhee (+2.9) once again showed just how good of a signing he has been for the Bears. Both of his tackles against the run resulted in a defensive stop, and while he didn’t come away with a sack, he still managed a batted pass to make his impact felt on the line of scrimmage.
– Much has been made of Jeremy Langford’s (-0.7) ability to replace Matt Forte (+1.2), but on this Sunday, they formed a nice partnership. Langford rushed for 46 yards, with 25 of those yards coming after contact, while Forte added 47 yards of his own and forced a missed tackle as a runner. Forte also had a solid day as a receiver, catching six passes for 57 yards and a touchdown.
RG Patrick Omameh +4.2
OLB Pernell McPhee +2.9
OLB Willie Young +2.8
DE Mitch Unrein +2.4
RT Kyle Long +2.4