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Cousins, Vikings beat Bears 19-13

Vikings defensive tackle Hercules Mata‘afa, a graduate of Lahainaluna High School, celebrates during the first half Monday. AP photo

CHICAGO — 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 6-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter to put Minnesota ahead by the final margin, 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.

HERCULES MATA‘AFA

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 on Sept. 17, 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.

The record return was the lone bright spot for the Bears as they lost their fourth in a row and matched their longest skid since Nagy was hired in 2018.

Cousins completed 25 of 36 passes with two touchdowns to Thielen, who has nine on the season. His one-handed TD grab in the first quarter was particularly impressive.

Minnesota’s Dalvin Cook ran for 96 yards on 30 attempts. Justin Jefferson caught eight passes for 135 yards.

The defense did not allow an offensive touchdown for the first time in 20 games, including the playoffs, and the Vikings won for just the fourth time in 18 games at Soldier Field since it reopened in 2003 following renovations.

“It’s a goofy year for everybody,” said Harrison Smith, who had an interception. “We’re starting to have a little bit of a feeling of how to make our own energy and our own confidence. I think we’re starting to figure it out a little bit.”

FROM THE MIL TO THE NFL

Statistics for Lahainaluna graduate Hercules Mata’afa of the Minnesota Vikings:

HERCULES MATA’AFA

MONDAY: 2 tackles, including 1 for a loss of 2 yards; 2 quarterback hits.

SEASON: 6 tackles, 0.5 sacks.

Minnesota 7 0 6 6–19

Chicago 3 3 7 0–13

First Quarter

Min–Thielen 17 pass from Cousins (Bailey kick), 6:29.

Chi–FG Santos 23, :32.

Second Quarter

Chi–FG Santos 42, :49.

Third Quarter

Chi–Patterson 104 kickoff return (Santos kick), 14:46.

Min–FG Bailey 37, 10:50.

Min–FG Bailey 43, 1:52.

Fourth Quarter

Min–Thielen 6 pass from Cousins (pass failed), 10:06.

A–0.

Min Chi

First downs 19 10

Total Net Yards 385 149

Rushes-yards 33-99 17-41

Passing 286 108

Punt Returns 1-0 3-44

Kickoff Returns 0-0 3-142

Interceptions Ret. 1-8 1-33

Comp-Att-Int 25-36-1 16-31-1

Sacked-Yards Lost 1-6 2-16

Punts 5-41.6 5-44.2

Fumbles-Lost 2-1 3-1

Penalties-Yards 4-35 1-5

Time of Possession 35:50 24:10

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING–Minnesota, Cook 30-96, Mattison 2-4, Cousins 1-(minus 1). Chicago, Patterson 12-30, Pierce 3-9, Foles 1-2, Nall 1-0.

PASSING–Minnesota, Cousins 25-36-1-292. Chicago, Foles 15-26-1-106, Bray 1-5-0-18.

RECEIVING–Minnesota, Jefferson 8-135, Rudolph 4-63, Thielen 4-43, Cook 4-16, Beebe 2-16, Conklin 2-11, Ham 1-8. Chicago, Robinson 6-43, A.Miller 2-28, Patterson 2-19, L.Miller 2-6, Mooney 2-3, Nall 1-18, Kmet 1-7.

MISSED FIELD GOALS–None.

NFL Standings

AMERICAN FOOTBALL CONFERENCE

East

W L T Pct PF PA

Buffalo 7 3 0 .700 272 265

Miami 6 3 0 .667 251 182

New England 4 5 0 .444 189 211

N.Y. Jets 0 9 0 .000 121 268

South

W L T Pct PF PA

Indianapolis 6 3 0 .667 242 177

Tennessee 6 3 0 .667 249 235

Houston 2 7 0 .222 200 252

Jacksonville 1 8 0 .111 199 271

North

W L T Pct PF PA

Pittsburgh 9 0 0 1.000 271 171

Baltimore 6 3 0 .667 244 165

Cleveland 6 3 0 .667 216 244

Cincinnati 2 6 1 .278 204 250

West

W L T Pct PF PA

Kansas City 8 1 0 .889 286 183

Las Vegas 6 3 0 .667 255 241

Denver 3 6 0 .333 186 254

L.A. Chargers 2 7 0 .222 226 245

NATIONAL FOOTBALL CONFERENCE

East

W L T Pct PF PA

Philadelphia 3 5 1 .389 203 232

N.Y. Giants 3 7 0 .300 195 236

Dallas 2 7 0 .222 204 290

Washington 2 7 0 .222 180 218

South

W L T Pct PF PA

New Orleans 7 2 0 .778 271 213

Tampa Bay 7 3 0 .700 296 226

Atlanta 3 6 0 .333 243 251

Carolina 3 7 0 .300 233 272

North

W L T Pct PF PA

Green Bay 7 2 0 .778 277 224

Chicago 5 5 0 .500 191 209

Detroit 4 5 0 .444 227 267

Minnesota 4 5 0 .444 236 247

West

W L T Pct PF PA

Arizona 6 3 0 .667 266 210

L.A. Rams 6 3 0 .667 216 168

Seattle 6 3 0 .667 290 266

San Francisco 4 6 0 .400 238 234

All times HST

Thursday’s Result

Indianapolis 34, Tennessee 17

Sunday’s Results

Cleveland 10, Houston 7

Detroit 30, Washington 27

Green Bay 24, Jacksonville 20

N.Y. Giants 27, Philadelphia 17

Tampa Bay 46, Carolina 23

Arizona 32, Buffalo 30

Las Vegas 37, Denver 12

Miami 29, L.A. Chargers 21

L.A. Rams 23, Seattle 16

New Orleans 27, San Francisco 13

Pittsburgh 36, Cincinnati 10

New England 23, Baltimore 17

Monday’s Result

Minnesota 19, Chicago 13

Byes–Kansas City, N.Y. Jets, Atlanta, Dallas

Thursday, Nov. 19

Arizona at Seattle, 3:20 p.m. (FOX)

Sunday, Nov. 22

Atlanta at New Orleans, 8 a.m. (FOX)

Cincinnati at Washington, 8 a.m.

Detroit at Carolina, 8 a.m.

New England at Houston, 8 a.m.

Philadelphia at Cleveland, 8 a.m.

Pittsburgh at Jacksonville, 8 a.m.

Tennessee at Baltimore, 8 a.m.

Miami at Denver, 11:05 a.m. (CBS)

N.Y. Jets at L.A. Chargers, 11:05 a.m.

Dallas at Minnesota, 11:25 a.m.

Green Bay at Indianapolis, 11:25 a.m. (FOX)

Kansas City at Las Vegas, 3:20 p.m. (NBC)

Monday, Nov. 23

L.A. Rams at Tampa Bay, 3:15 p.m.

Byes–Buffalo, Chicago, N.Y. Giants, San Francisco

Note: TV games subject to change

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