MIN-CHI grades: Bradford's accuracy leads the way over floundering Bears
Minnesota Vikings 38, Chicago Bears 10
Here are the biggest takeaways and highest-graded players from the Minnesota Vikings’ 38-10 NFC North divisional victory over the Chicago Bears.
Quarterback grade: Sam Bradford, 81.0
Bradford excels to bring Vikings to 8-8
In a game that had no playoff implications, Sam Bradford played well enough to erase his recent stretch of poor outings in the minds of some Vikings fans just before the offseason. Bradford handled pressure from the Bears well and his QB rating only dropped from 119.6 to 95.5 when he was under pressure. Bradford was highly accurate for most of the game and completed 4 of 6 passes targeted to the intermediate level (10-19 yards downfield).
Top offensive grades:
TE Kyle Rudolph, 82.6
T Rashod Hill, 78.5
G Joe Berger, 71.3
WR Cordarelle Patterson, 71.2
C Nick Easton, 69.1
Kyle Rudolph keys Vikings’ win
The Vikings will no doubt have much to sort out about their offensive scheme and personnel this offseason as they look to make the playoffs in 2017. Tight end Kyle Rudolph had a heavy workload against the Bears as he was targeted 15 times, catching 11 passes, providing 56 yards after the catch and scoring a touchdown. Neither tackle Rashod Hill nor guard Joe Berger allowed a sack, hit or hurry of Bradford on their respective 36 pass-blocking snaps.
Top defensive grades:
CB Trae Waynes, 87.7
CB Xavier Rhodes, 86.1
ED Danielle Hunter, 78.9
S Anthony Harris, 77.1
DI Linval Joseph, 76.1
Vikings secondary frustrates Matt Barkley
Vikings cornerbacks Trae Waynes and Xavier Rhodes both had big games and impressive coverage statistics against the Bears. Waynes was targeted 5 times and only allowed 2 catches for 12 yards. Waynes also intercepted one pass and broke up another and the QB rating when throwing into his coverage was 14.2. Rhodes was targeted 3 times and allowed 1 catch for 10 yards. Rhodes also intercepted a pass and the Bears’ QB rating when throwing in Rhodes’s coverage only 4.2. Young edge-rusher Danielle Hunter collected 1 sack and 1 hurry on his 15 pass-rush snaps. Hunter was even better as a run defender, as he had 3 run stops and a run-defense grade of 83.9. Big man Linval Joseph added 2 sacks on his 22 pass-rush snaps.
Quarterback grade: Matt Barkley, 42.7
Barkley benched for Fales
Matt Barkley’s recent trend of multiple-turnover games continued against the Vikings. Barkley had two passes intercepted and also lost a fumble that was returned for a touchdown. Barkley completed only 3 of his 6 passes that were targeted farther than 9 yards downfield. The highlight of Barkley’s day was catching a touchdown pass on a trick play. Barkley was eventually benched to get David Fales reps.
Top offensive grades:
HB Jordan Howard, 86.9
C Cody Whitehair, 84.7
G Ted Larsen, 78.3
WR Cameron Meredith, 75.1
G Josh Sitton, 70.3
Howard bright spot for the Bears’ future
Rookie halfback Jordan Howard has had a very strong finish to the second half of the season. Against the Vikings, Howard had 69 yards after contact and forced 3 missed tackles. Howard looks to be a key piece to the Bears’ future offense. Fellow rookie Cody Whitehair has been solid all season with a few rookie learning bumps along the way. Whitehair has had to not only learn a new position — switching from tackle to center — but has also had to adjust to NFL game speed and he has done it well. Whitehair didn’t allow a sack, hit or hurry on his 23 pass-blocking snaps against the Vikings.
Top defensive grades:
S Adrian Amos, 78.7
LB Jerell Freeman, 77.0
DI Akiem Hicks, 76.3
DI Jonathan Bullard, 75.0
DI C.J. (Clifford) Wilson, 74.5
Bears’ defense fails to slow the Vikings’ offense
The Bears’ pass-rush was largely non-existent against the Vikings. Akiem Hicks was the most effective Bears’ pass-rusher and he finished with 0 sacks, 1 hit and 3 hurries on 31 pass rush snaps. Amos allowed two catches for only 14 yards and had two defensive stops. Linebacker Jerell Freeman was seemingly everywhere as he finished with 12 tackles and 7 defensive stops.
PFF Game-Ball Winner: Vikings CB Trae Waynes
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