Kirk Cousins will take a victory any day of the week. That he finally got one on a Monday night didn’t seem to matter.
Cousins threw for 292 yards and two touchdowns, and the Minnesota Vikings overcame a 104-yard kickoff return by Chicago’s Cordarrelle Patterson to beat the Bears 19-13.
Cousins won for the first time in 10 career Monday night starts. He hit Adam Thielen with a six-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to put Minnesota ahead, and the Vikings (4-5) held on for their third straight win. They also snapped a four-game losing streak against Chicago (5-5).
“Great to get a win,” Cousins said. “We’ll try to keep building on it now, and it’ll be so important to keep stringing these together if we can. That’s really what the rest of the season will be all about.”
Bears quarterback Nick Foles got taken from the field on a cart in the game’s final minute. Coach Matt Nagy said Foles’ leg and hip were being evaluated after he got slammed on his right side by Minnesota’s Ifeadi Odenigbo as he threw the ball away.
Patterson joined Josh Cribbs and Leon Washington as the only players with eight kick returns for touchdowns when he ran back the opening kickoff of the second half to give Chicago a 13-7 lead. It was the longest kickoff return in franchise history, surpassing Gale Sayers’ 103-yarder against Pittsburgh in 1967.
Patterson had all the room he needed as he sprinted up the sideline and raised two fingers as he closed in on the end zone. “I don’t know what I did, man. I was blacked out at the time,” Patterson said.
With offensive coordinator Bill Lazor calling the plays after Nagy handed off those duties in an effort to lift a unit that ranks near the bottom of the NFL, the Bears managed 149 yards. It was their lowest total since they had 147 against San Francisco in December 2017.
“We need to make sure that we’re really honestly going back now and saying OK, what’s going on, where are we at now that we have some time to really see,” Nagy said.
Foles threw for 106 yards and an interception. It was a far cry from his previous start against the Vikings, when he led Philadelphia past them in the NFC championship game on the way to a Super Bowl title in 2018.