MINNEAPOLIS — Kirk Cousins passed for 172 yards and three touchdowns in the second half to lead a Minnesota Vikings comeback to beat the Chicago Bears 31-17 in a game with zero implications, other than the future of their respective head coaches.
The matchup of two eliminated teams with a head coach in danger of being fired saw the Vikings outscore the Bears 28-3 in the second half.
Wideout Justin Jefferson caught the tying score and K.J. Osborn had the go-ahead touchdown for the Vikings. Darnell Mooney had 12 catches for 126 yards to pass the 1,000-yard receiving mark for the Bears.
Jefferson, one of Minnesota's few bright lights this season, finished 17 yards short of establishing a franchise single- season record for receiving yardage set by the mercurial Randy Moss. Jefferson had five catches for 107 yards and a touchdown in Sunday's contest, leaving him with 1,616 yards in 17 games this season.
Moss had 1,632 yards in 16 games in 2003. The Vikings had plenty of chances to look to Jefferson in the closing minutes with game in hand, but chose to go elsewhere with the ball. The club took possession at the Bears 31-yard line with 1:08 left, but they ran the ball once and kneeled down to end the game. Coach Mike Zimmer said after the game he wasn't concerned about the record.
"It's all good, as long as we score, as long as we having fun, it's all good," Jefferson told reporters. "I'm not really trippin', I'll try and get it some other time."
"Just being that close and not gettin' it, definitely tough... but it is what it is," the young receiver added.
The future for Zimmer is uncertain as Minnesota finishes the year with his second consecutive losing season. Since he became the Vikings' head coach in 2014, the Vikes have gone 72-56-1.
“It’s not my choice,” Zimmer said. “It’s not my decision,” when asked about his future in a post-game press conference.
The Vikings finished 8-9. The Bears went 6-11.
Slideshow: Bears vs. Vikings
Watch more of Minnesota sports:
Watch the latest sports videos - from high school hockey to the Minnesota Vikings and everything in between - in our YouTube playlist: