Minneapolis, MN.– In a meaningless game for both teams, the Chicago Bears would fall to the Minnesota Vikings 31-17 to wrap up the 2021 regular season. The Bears will finish 2021 with a final record of six wins and 11 losses, marking the franchises’ first true losing season since 2017, when the Bears finished with just five wins.
The Bears scoring summary was simple. Kicker Cairo Santos converted three field goals while Andy Dalton connected with running back Damien Williams for a 23-yard touchdown in the first half. The second half was a different story for Chicago. Minnesota scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter, including a 66-yard pick-six by cornerback Patrick Peterson and a 45-yard touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to Justin Jefferson.
In the final game of the Matt Nagy era, the Bears cruised to a 14-0 lead before Minnesota scored 28 total points in the second half to finish off the comeback. The Bears, despite a strong start, did have some struggles in this game. Head coach Matt Nagy, who was coaching in his final game, opted to go for it on fourth down, on six different occasions. The Bears would convert just once.
In what is also his final game as Bears quarterback, Dalton was sacked seven times for 59 yards. The 11-year veteran would finish the afternoon 33-for-48 with 325 passing yards and one touchdown, averaging 6.8 yards per attempt. After signing a one-year deal worth $10M in free agency, Dalton’s 2021 season was mediocre for the Bears, even after being guaranteed the starting job.
The sole positive for the Bears on offense was second-year wide receiver Darnell Mooney who had 12 receptions for 126 yards, averaging 10.5 yards per reception. The 2020 fifth-round pick eclipsed the 1000-yard mark, finishing off his sophomore season with 1,055 receiving yards, 81 receptions, and four touchdowns.
As Chicago now looks towards the offseason, 2021 is solely in the rearview mirror, and 2022 will bring winds of change to the Bears franchise, which now moves forward with quarterback Justin Fields as the face of the franchise.