A Look Back at Memorable Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings Games in Minneapolis
The Chicago Bears and Minnesota Vikings will meet this Sunday with playoff implications on the line. Here's a look back at some memorable games between the two that was played in Minneapolis.
From dazzling rushing performances, comeback victories, 99-yard touchdowns, a few missed kicks, and playoff hopes ending, the Bears and Vikings normally put on a show in the Twin Cities.
For me, the Bears and Vikings game in Minneapolis each season is special. My wife and I attended the 2013 game (more on that game later) as our first trip together out of town. We were married on New Year's Eve in 2016 and spent the following day watching the Bears and Vikings play. In 2018 and 2019, we spent our anniversary weekend going to the games. Besides COVID taking away fans from attending games this year, we were sad when we saw that this year's game wouldn't be played around New Years'. Either way, bragging rights are always on the line at our house.
So here's a quick look back at some of the memorable matchups that took place in Minnesota. I'm sure there are many more memorable ones, but I went around the office and this is what we came up with.
October 2, 1976: Minnesota 20, Chicago 19
Okay, I wasn't alive for this one or anywhere near a thought. This is one that popped up in our office as a memorable game. As KKRC's Corey Knight told me, "Walter Payton ran through the Vikings like a warm knife through butter, but the Vikings managed to hang on at the end for the victory." He wasn't wrong in his memory. Payton ran for 141 yards on 19 carries and added two touchdowns. Minnesota led 17-0 at one point before Chicago stormed back to pull within four. The Vikings secured the 20-19 win late at the old Metropolitan Stadium.
October 4, 1992: Minnesota 21, Chicago 20
I don't have any memory of this game as I would have only been knocking on the door of three at the time. Another game that someone in our office brought up was a 4th quarter comeback by the Vikings. Chicago, with quarterback Jim Harbaugh, jumped out to a 20-0 lead. They held that lead entering the fourth quarter. A pick-6 later and the momentum violently swung. Minnesota raced back with a Cris Carter receiving touchdown from Rich Gannon, and a final touchdown from Roger Craig to get the victory.
December 1, 1994: Minnesota 33, Chicago 27 OT
It was a cold Thursday night in December within the friendly confines of the Metrodome. Minnesota and Chicago went toe-to-toe with playoff implications on the line. In primetime, the two teams traded points through regulation. Bears kicker Kevin Butler knocked in a 33-yard field goal to tie the game at 27 and send it to overtime. Chicago looked like they had the victory in hand when Butler missed a 40-yard field goal left. The Vikings won the game off of a 65-yard touchdown from Warren Moon to Cris Carter.
January 1, 1995: Chicago 35, Minnesota 18
A return trip to Minneapolis was on the docket for the Bears entering the 1995 playoffs. Following the overtime loss one month earlier, Chicago opened the game with a 14-9 lead at halftime. Chicago would need just four plays to open the 3rd quarter to extend the lead to 21-9 and they had no issues from there. This remains the only playoff game played between the two franchises in history.
September 24, 2006: Chicago 19, Minnesota 16
This was my first experience of a Bears/Vikings game live, and I remember seeing multiple fights breakout. If you love field goals, this was the game for you. Two of the NFL's best in Robbie Gould and Ryan Longwell combined for seven field goals throughout the game. Minnesota's lone touchdown came off a pick-six by Antoine Winfield. The winning, and the only offensive, touchdown was a connection between Rex Grossman to Rashied Davis.
November 30, 2008: Minnesota 34, Chicago 14
When I first thought of this post, this was one of the first games that popped into my head. Why? It was a Sunday Night Football game and it's memorable for really two moments. The Vikings stopping the Bears on four straight plays within the one-yard line and then following it up with a 99-yard touchdown from Gus Frerotte to Bernard Berrian.
December 20, 2010: Chicago 40, Minnesota 10
Following the Metrodome's roof collapsing, the Minnesota Vikings hosted the Chicago Bears at TCF Bank Stadium in a game that will mostly be remembered for one thing...It's the game where Brett Favre's career would come to a close. Favre would suffer a concussion that would take him off of the field for the rest of the season. Jay Cutler, Devin Hester, and Robbie Gould would account for most of the damage done to the Vikings defense that day and helped the Bears move to 10-4.
December 1, 2013: Minnesota 23, Chicago 20 OT
Robbie Gould doesn't miss kicks...until late in this game. Minnesota and Chicago played another tightly contested game that went to overtime. Following a Blair Walsh field goal to tie the game at 20, Gould had a chance to end the game on a 66-yard field goal. As expected, the distance was a little too far. The fun of this game was in overtime. Chicago was forced to punt, and the Vikings took the ball over at their own 22. After marching down to the CHI 21, Walsh attempted and connected on a field goal on 3rd down but there was a 15-yard penalty charged against the Vikings. Walsh would attempt another play later from 54 yards out but missed giving Chicago the ball back with great field position. Gould would miss on a 47-yard giving the Vikings one more shot. With 1:47 left in overtime, Walsh hit a 34-yard field goal for the win.
December 30, 2018: Chicago 24, Minnesota 10
It was easy for the Vikings in 2018 against the Bears. Chicago had "nothing to play for," while the Vikings could snatch a playoff spot with a win. As "Win and In" blared through the speakers at US Bank Stadium, the Bears were the ones that played as if their season was on the line. Bears running back Jordan Howard would torch the Vikings for 109 yards on 21 carries and two touchdowns. Minnesota could not get anything to work on offense. Dalvin Cook would finish with 39 yards on 11 carries, while Kirk Cousins would go 20-33 for 132 yards and one touchdown. The loss knocked the Vikings out of the playoffs while the Bears went marching in without having to worry about the Vikings any more.
Sunday (December 20) marks the next chapter between the two teams. With both teams sitting outside of the playoffs, the upcoming matchup will feel like a playoff game. The winner will still have a chance while the losing team will need a lot of luck.
Or in my house, this weekend is all about which Christmas ornament gets place higher on the tree.
Enjoy the game!
Falls Park Winter Wonderland 2020