Plenty of Blame to Go Around as Bears Fall to Vikings 23-20 in Overtime

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Dec 1, 2013; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) breaks a tackle from Chicago Bears safety Chris Conte (47) during overtime at Mall of America Field at H.H.H. Metrodome. The Vikings defeated the Bears 23-20 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

Who’s to blame for this latest Chicago Bears loss?  There are plenty of “worthy” candidates.  They say you win as a team and you lose as a team.  Nothing is truer after this latest debacle.

The worst thing that happened to the Bears on Sunday was Christian Ponder’s exit just before halftime of the game.  Ponder was following the blueprint to a tee, going 3 for 8 for 4o yards in just under a half of football.  That’s how the plan was supposed to work.  Try to at least slow Peterson down – which the Bears did a decent job of in the first half – and make the quarterback beat you.  Ponder wasn’t going to be able to, Matt Cassel was.

Cassel went 20 for 33 for 243 with a TD and an interception.  No play was bigger than the 4th and 11 that he converted from the shadow of his own goalpost late in the 4th quarter during the Vikings’ game tying drive.  The Bears defense was actually decent on third downs, only allowing the Vikings to convert 4 of 17 3rd downs.  The problem? The Vikings were 3 for 3 on 4th down, none bigger than the 4th and 11 to keep alive a 90 yard scoring drive that tied the game.

As admirably as the defense held up, and only allowing 20 points in regulation is admirable for this group, they also collapsed and blew a 10-point fourth quarter lead.  Are they to blame for this loss?  In the end, they gave up over 200 yards to Adrian Peterson, who averaged 6 yards per carry, and 246 yards overall.  That will not help their NFL-worst rush defense ranking. 

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