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Bears Week 17 Post Game Review - Complete the Sweep, Bye Bye Minnesota!

Bears Make Final Statement

Crushing Lions, slashing Packers, ending Vikings seasons, the Chicago Bears (12-4) won the NFC North division. The Bears ended their season on a four-game winning streak after dismantling the Vikings 24-10. The victory terminated the Vikings (8-7-1) season while sending a message to the rest of the NFL, “Beware!” Matt Nagy and his squad followed through on an earlier promise, “We are playing to win.” The Bears never trailed in U.S. Bank Stadium completing the sweep of Minnesota.

Jordan Howard was the offensive MVP scoring twice on the day. He finished with 109 yards on 21 carries. He accumulated 55 yards on the opening drive. His 6-yard touchdown scamper gave the offense an early 7-0 lead. He helped neutralize the Minnesota pass rush.

The run game received a jolt from the return of Kyle Long. His presence was certainly felt during the first half. Howard’s 42-yard scamper on the second play from scrimmage was initiated behind the strength of Long. This play illustrated what is to come throughout the playoffs while at Soldier Field.

The Bears demonstrated their intentions deep into the fourth quarter with the offensive starters finishing a 75-yard scoring drive. Tarik Cohen capped it off with a three-yard run up the middle. An earlier missed PAT by Cody Parkey probably inspired this classic Matt Nagy designed short-yardage play with a backup linebacker. Mitchell Trubisky executed a beautiful pass to Nick Kwiatkoski for the successful two-point conversion. Bears jumped to a 21-10 lead.

Chicago’s defense proved it is incapable of taking a day off. The Bears would not be denied another dominant performance allowing 12 first downs. This unit sacked Kirk Cousins four times while only yielding 164 total yards against a Minnesota squad that desperately needed a win. They allowed one field goal by the end of the first half. The Vikings only possessed the ball for 22:52 and their lone touchdown came with a "referees’ assist." They executed a 12-play 92-yard scoring drive that included two penalties for 26 free yards.

Chicago’s interior defensive line provided a constant push up the middle all afternoon. Akiem Hicks led the unit with 1.5 sacks, the second half of a sack was shared with Roy Robertson-Harris. Eddie Goldman and Bilal Nichols collected one apiece. The consistent pressure by the front seven allowed the secondary to disrupt routes throughout the contest. The subs took over in the fourth quarter with around four minutes to go but continued overwhelming the Minnesota offense. It was business as usual for Vic Fangio’s crew.

“For us it was a huge challenge, the fans get loud, this environment is loud, I thought our players handled it well,” Coach Nagy told the Associated Press. “The noise at times was a factor and for us to be able come in here and all three phases played pretty well, our defense held them to one for 11 on third down. For our quarterback to handle this environment the way he handled it is pretty awesome.”

The Bears completed the season winning 12 games proving most pundits wrong. Matt Nagy should be the front-runner for Coach of the Year. The success will not stop here, the Bears are coming for the Lombardi Trophy and there isn’t much the NFL can do about it.

Next week, the Bears host the returning Super Bowl Champion Eagles during the first round of the playoffs. It is their first playoff game since 2010.

Until then, stay thirsty and BEAR DOWN. JT out!

James Torres

James Torres

ProFootball Free Lance Writer at SportsTalkLine.com
ProFootball Free Lance Writer for @profootballtalkline Network covering Da Chicago Bears.. Chicago Professional Sports Fan, Sport Administrator, Educator, Yogi, and Truth-Seeker. #findyourflow #beardown Follow me on Twitter @00jt77

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