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Bears Top Vikings 17-13 In 2011 Season Finale

Posted by Mike Wobschall on January 1, 2012 – 4:31 pm

It will go down as a loss by a normal NFL score of 17-13, but the 2011 season finale between the Vikings and Chicago Bears at Mall of America Field on Sunday afternoon was certainly not short on drama or excitement. Jim Kleinsasser, a truly great all-time Viking and 13-year veteran, played the final game of his career. And DE Jared Allen capped off the best season of his career by chasing history.

Kleinsasser, never one to embrace pomp and circumstance, went through the emotions of game day one more time, with many family members and friends right by his side the entire time. His last task of the day was to meet with reporters at a post-game press conference, where he spoke eloquently and with perspective about his great career with the Vikings, the love and support from his family and friends along the way, and the camaraderie he enjoyed with life in the NFL.

Allen, who entered Sunday’s game with 18.5 sacks, needed 2.5 to tie the Vikings single-season record (21.0 by Chris Doleman) and 4.5 to set a new NFL single-season record (Michael Strahan had 22.5 in the 2001 season). As he’s done all season, Allen delivered big-time for the Vikings. He chased QB Josh McCown around the field all day, finishing the afternoon with 3.5 sacks, giving him the Vikings record but coming up excruciatingly short of the NFL record.

As for the game, the Vikings jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the 1st quarter behind a 26-yard Ryan Longwell FG and a 5-yard TD dash by Percy Harvin. Chicago came right back and answered in the 2nd quarter, though, scoring on a 22-yard McCown-to-Roy Williams pitch-and-catch and then on a 22-yard INT return by CB Charles Tillman just 2 plays into the Vikings next drive.

And it got worse for Ponder. On the Vikings first play following the Tillman pick 6, Ponder rolled to the right, threw a pass, and was brought to the ground by Bears DE Israel Idonije, re-injuring the hip that has bothered Ponder late in the season and forcing him from the game. Joe Webb replaced Ponder, and right before halftime he drove the Vikings down the field to set up Longwell for another FG, this one pulling the score to 14-13 in favor of Chicago right in front of halftime.

The 3rd quarter was dominated by defense. The Vikings had drives end in an INT and 2 punts, while the Bears were forced to punt 3 times in the quarter. Appropriately enough, it was in the 3rd quarter, on a 3rd-and-14 play from the Chicago 40, where Allen set the new Vikings single-season sack mark. After the sack, Allen raced to the sideline where he was embraced by many of his teammates, and the sold-out Mall of America Field crowd gave their favorite calf-roping DE a huge ovation.

Unfortunately, the Vikings were unable to cap Allen’s record-setting day and Kleinsasser’s emotional farewell with a come-from-behind effort in the 4th quarter. Webb gave a tremendous effort, repeatedly avoiding pressure from the Bears defense, but it just wasn’t enough to put points on the board. The Bears added a FG on the first possession of the quarter and their defense was able to keep Webb and Co. in check the rest of the way to hold onto the victory.

There was obviously plenty of other action and development in the game, and we’ll continue to bring you post-game reaction and thoughts throughout tonight and into tomorrow right here on vikings.com. But for now, the loss drops the Vikings to 3-13 for the season and keeps them winless in the NFC North. The team will gather at Winter Park on Monday for a final team meeting and then will meet with reporters in the locker room before heading out for the offseason. Leslie Frazier will have his end-of-the-year press conference on Tuesday.


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Posted in All, Mike Wobschall | 57 Comments »


57 Responses to “Bears Top Vikings 17-13 In 2011 Season Finale”

  1. By Derrick.G on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    About time this horrid season finished.

  2. By Shawn on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    WOW great INT by Ced Griffen !!!!

    ______________________________________________________________

    Great season by Jared Allen !!!

    Good seasons from Percy , Rudolph, and Greenway !!!!

    Ponder / Webb showed potential at QB !!!!

    and that is about the extent of positives for the 2011 MN Vikings … did I miss something ???

  3. By Derrick.G on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    Playoffs? What playoffs? I ain’t watchin no playoffs.

  4. By Viking Joe on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    It all started with McNabb and went downhill quickly!!

  5. By TonyO on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    Trying to find postives in that season is like trying to polish a turd……………

  6. By Immureglass on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    All in all I thought our defense played pretty well today…only if they played like that all season.

  7. By Carl K on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    Ced Griffen can still make plays. Move him to safety and draft a CB in round 1 or 2.

  8. By Tony on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    Brought back memories of the horrid 1984 Les Steckle 3 win season. It gets so frustrating watching bad protection for the QB, bad snaps for FGs, bad bounces by the ball and especially bad or blown calls by the refs, the last play of the Lions game is a good example. When it rains it pours, nothing goes your way. One play away from a superbowl apperance and two seasons later the worst year in history since the merger. I know the record was was the same as in 84 but the talent and the injury to the talent like AP and Winfield I think make it worse. We have to build our line back, we must be able to protect the QB and we need a killer saftey like Joey browner…

  9. By greatirishpotatofamine on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    Matt Flynn????

  10. By sandiamond on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/draft2012/story/_/id/7410307/heisman-winner-robert-griffin-iii-baylor-bears-enter-nfl-draft-sources-say

  11. By Spence on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    Once again Jared Allen doesnt show up in the 4th guys. Hes been like this the whole year, Great in the first 3 quarters, but DISAPPEARS IN THE 4TH!

    ADMIT THAT I AM RIGHT!!!!

  12. By Carl K on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    The best way to turn things around is with a solid draft.
    Rd 1- Matt Kalil OT
    Rd2- Chase Minnifield CB
    Rd3- Markelle Martin FS
    Rd4- WR Tommy Streeter, Dwight Jones, Marvin McNutt or Jeff Fuller

  13. By Tony on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    Spence, I don’t think it was not Allen showing up in the 4th, it was more that the Bears were running the ball and not giving him a chance. After the pick and the botched FG they ran it 6 times, even on a 3rd and 6 they ran it. They were trying to run the clock down. They should have called one pass play and let the QB fall to the ground like he slipped and let Allen have it. If you remember the sack that allowed M. Strayhan to break Gastenue? record was Brett Farve just falling down when he was still 2 or 3 yards away. It was the easiest sack in history……

  14. By Viking-ology on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    Vikes get #3 pick- Kalil is a no brainer, even for Speilman.

  15. By sandiamond on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    Rams 75% lock to take Kalil with the #2pick

  16. By Tony on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    The few early mock drafts I have seen have the Rams taking Kalil and the Vikes taking the next OT Jonathan Martin out of Stanford. But the Rams may trade that pick and Kalil will be there. Most teams picked thier QB last year, only a few teams really need one, Indy for the future, the Skins and the Fins and maybe the Browns. The Browns have had a bad run since Bernie Kosar was drafted by the Vikes and refused to play for them and went to the Browns in the sup. draft. Couch, Frye, Quinn, McCoy, they may stick with McCoy. We may be better off seeing what we can get fron Miami or Wash. in trade for #3. I was wondering how the Vikes would have handled the #1 pick if they got it. Most teams that picked a Qb last year are not ready to give up after a short season with no mini camp and not much practice. If you look at the teams and name who they have at QB this is a bad year for #1 QBs to come out of college after last years draft.

  17. By Carl K on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    Sandiamond – I think a team will trade up to take RG3 with the Rams #2 pick.
    If the Rams take Matt Kalil then the Vikings will be in good position to trade RG3 for extra picks. Win win.

  18. By sandiamond on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    exactly, would should take Kalil if the Rams play

  19. By Carl K on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    Morris Claiborne, and Justin Blackmon are also players that can help the Vikings. I just wish could have all those guys.

  20. By Carl K on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    Any direction the Viking go with that #3 pick will be good. This is one pick that the Vikings can’t mess up. All options are great!

  21. By Viking-ology on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    It’s sad that all we have to talk about now is the draft!

  22. By NORTHLANDER on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    Tony Dungy for GM!!

  23. By Vikingsfool on Jan 1, 2012 | Reply

    Good Lord Spence, the guy sets the franchise sack record and comes withing a .5 of tying the all time record and you bash him?? You are the worst fan I’ve ever crossded. I mean you fall down on your own words like a one legged man in an a** kicking contest. Get real. You are the least football educated guy I have ever seen shoot off his mouth pistol and only hit himself in the foot. In one word you are STOOPID!

  24. By vlad19 on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    It is fact, Spence only knows how to look at paper and box scores and draw his lame conclusions from the STAT….. There is this thing called “coaching” and Martz has been a famous COACH of offenses, and coaches will ADJUST to schemes and players, and it took him a while, but they brought TE HELP and RB HELP to the left side of the line to HELP BLOCK Jared Allen…..

    This little thing (actually about 500 extra pounds of manpower) was what stopped Allen, NOT a 4th quarter.

    If you really want to beef, HOW can Robison, a pass rusher out of college, only end up with 7 sacks on the weak tackle? There are SO MANY more things you could be accurately critical of, but Allen???? You missed big time.

  25. By vikingpat on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    we need a new coach there is a lot of good coaches we could get Jack del rio a x viking!!!!!!!!!!!Please zigg get a real GM as well some of are pass players just stink ..We whole makeover!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  26. By rick on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    Spence, Just have to tell you that after reading your posts, especially today, you are with out a doubt, an IDIOT!

  27. By DrinkHeavyVikingFans on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    Well this year is mercifully over…it’s now 41 years and counting for me as a Vikings fan..still no Super Bowl..but things are looking up.. I heard that the Mayans predicted a Vikings Super Bowl win for 2012..keep em’ cold guys..see you all next season..Go Niners..(F&^k the GB Pikers and NO Stains)..

  28. By gubber on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    If Rams do or don’t pick Kalil 3rd I’m still very tempted to trade down to 7 or 8. Washington and Miami will both I’m sure have a real Interest in RG3, but would want both their first and second picks this year and not in two or three years time. In the first it’s either Martin from Stanford or Rieff from Iowa. In the second would go Minniefield from West Virginia ,or Glenn from Georgia, and then hopefully Reuben Randle from LSU with our second second rounder. Would love to package the rest of my picks for Markelle Martin of Oklahoma State in the late second. Would give you 4 of the top 60 and that would be a very good start to filling a lot of holes. Next move, and I know I’m going to hear about this …trade Jared Allen for either draft picks or need. Ballard and Griffen have to play more to develop and Jared at this precise moment is at his most valuable being the NFL sack leader. Next year is his ninth year, and probably has about three more years at the top of his game so he won’t be looked at by other teams as on the down side of the hill yet. You snooze … you lose !!! Filling holes can be done quickly, but the Vikes have to have the stones to do what needs to be done.

  29. By vikeforever on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    it should be a no brainer with a 3-13 record. Even though I think Frazier is a nice person he didnt show me he had control of his team or a clue or how to run it. If a better GM will help us in the draft and free agency to improve this dismal record then I am all for it. A fan of over 40 years and I am starting to think I will never get to see this team win a championship..

  30. By sandiamond on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    gubber we ain’t packaging up nothing for a S in the 4th round! get real, we need 11 picks in 7 rounds to have a stellar draft

  31. By gubber on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    @ sandiamond. How many picks past the fourth round make any real contribution to a team’s success ??? Isn’t it preferrable to draft “quality” over “quantity”.Most of your impact players are “high draft picks”, and your lower picks play special teams, are on the practice roster, or cut outright. You one of those people who just likes to sit around on draft day with your sports page or magazine, guessing as to who the Vikes pick in the later rounds. Give your head a shake !!!

  32. By gubber on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    Oh, and by the way … I want Markelle in the late second, and not the fourth .

  33. By Carl K on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    I wouldn’t trade much for Markelle Martin. However, he is a prospect I would take at the top of round 3. With that said, the Vikings could trade back in the second round to take a DB and collect an extra 3 rd round pick.
    I will say that I can’t wait to watch Markelle and Justin Blackmon play tonight.

  34. By sandiamond on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    gubber it’s a once in a lifetime oppurtunity that the vikes have never had. Round 2 pick could get a steal from( should have been ) round 1 and so on ALL the way to the seventh round.

  35. By Carl K on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    The first game on the ticket today to watch is the Capital One Bowl.
    Nebraska:
    Alfonzo Diennard CB
    Jared Crick DE

    South Carolina:
    Alshon Jeffery WR
    Stephon Gilmore CB
    Antonio Allen SS

    Gilmore and Allen are a couple of those many 2nd- 3rd -4th round DBs that could improve our secondary.

  36. By sandiamond on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    good point Carl the list of DB’s are growing where as shouldn’t have to burn the #3 pick in the draft on Claiborne

  37. By Gary on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    Start the auction. Get the phones working to: Washington, Miami, Seattle, Jacksonville, Buffalo, Cleveland, Kansas City, and any other team that will listen to the opportunity to trade up to #3 for the opportunity to draft RG3. Also give New England a call about trading back one of their two picks in the first round to round 2 – they have no picks after round 4. Considering all the holes in the roster, might be an option to trade down in round 2 if an extra 3rd can be added. Get those phones working on that as well.

  38. By Carl K on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    In the past we have not been able to get much in return when we trade back… And it seems we give up too much when we try to move up to get a player.

    Right now I am not too thrilled with Speilman getting cute and moving around much.

    We are in a good draft position to draft good players. We have so many holes… Speilman just needs to draft best player available that will fill a hole.

  39. By Tony on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    Why is it that the coaches the Vikings let go go ont gppd things? Dungy left and went to TB and built Grudens SB team then won one with Indy. Brian Billick left and won one with the Ravens, Tomlin leaves and wins two out of three SBs. It seems they always let the wrong guys go.

  40. By Carl K on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    Let’s take a look at the 2010 draft.
    Our first four round we came away with:
    Chris Cook – 41 career tackles 0 ints
    Toby Gerhart – 853 yards and 2 TDs
    E Griffen – 32 career tackles

    So let’s take a look at who we could have had if we didn’t trade back and trade up.
    With pick #30 ( we traded back) and said no to:
    Jahvid Best 945 career yards and 6 TDs.
    Also said no to Patrick Robinson 76 career tackles and 4 ints.

    With the #62 pick ( we traded to move up) we said no to:
    Brandon Spikes 108 tackles 1 int
    Pat Angerer 236 career tackles
    Amari Spievey 121 tackles 5 ints
    Morgan Burnett 121 tackles 4 ints

    With #93 pick we traded:
    it is a funny world… We could have drafted E Griffen here.

    With pick #128 ( traded ):
    We could have had FS Kam Chancellor 120 tackle 4 ints
    Or FS Kendrick Lewis 90 career tackles and 6 ints.

  41. By Tony on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    You cannot second guess picks, hindsite is 20/20. We have AP so J. Best was not an option and Toby has done as well as Best I think. Look how many pased on AP, R. Moss, Brady, Rice, etc. I remember when Robert Smith was drafted, there were boos and laughs. Point is you just never know how well a player will do, it is a gamble. Look at J. Russell and Cam Newton or Manning and Leaf, Rodgers and Smith, night and day. The only pick I hated and tturned out to be the worst for the Vikes ever was Troy Williamson at #7, I dont know if he lost it because he had the expectation of replacing Moss or if he was just that bad. The system the team has is another factor.

  42. By Carl K on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    I am a fan that knows college football talent. I can second guess all I want.
    What the Vikings did in the 2010 draft was a joke!
    Most experts had CB Patrick Robinson as the better CB prospect over C Cook.
    Toby Gerhart would have probably still been available with the #62 pick if they would have just let the draft come to them.

  43. By sandiamond on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    alshon jeffery getting the limelight! 6’4

  44. By sandiamond on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    brandon boykin CB Georgia a hoss returning kicks! we need a player(steal) like this!

    get Percy some help!

  45. By Carl K on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    Because alshon doesn’t have elite speed… I can only hope he falls to the Vikings at the top of round 2.
    Matt Kalil
    Alshon Jeffery
    Johnathon Banks

    Would be almost to good to be true.

  46. By Carl K on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    I like Boykin but unfortunately the Vikings like to target and draft tall corners.
    I think Boykin has good speed and will be productive in the NFL. He will be a steal if we can use one of our compensatory picks on him late in the draft.

  47. By Regfan on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    Hire Gruden for coach

  48. By sandiamond on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    Percy #1 receiver #1 kick returner #1 passing back # 2 running back
    at the end of the season
    Get Percy some help! let him focus on core positions

  49. By Carl K on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    I would take Boykin at the top of round 3 if the Vikings haven’t taken a corner by then. but my point is we only have 2 DBs shorter than Boykin. If you look at our roster, injured reserve and PS we have 7 DBs 6 feet or taller.

  50. By sandiamond on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    Winfield type replacement. Someone for him to groom into a fine cb before his retirement. J. Jenkins reminds me of Winfield in the earlier dayzz

  51. By Carl K on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    Asher Allen and Stephen Burton both were outstanding returners in college.
    Brandon Burton was one of the top return guys in the country in high school but didn’t get much of a chance to be a returner in college because Utah had the best returner in the country.

  52. By Carl K on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    I think we have returners who are better than Booker and Sherels.
    Harvin is one of the best in the NFL. It is hard not to give him more opportunities to touch the ball.

  53. By Carl K on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    Sandiamond – I agree with what you are you are saying… And I think for me the biggest disappointment to this season was that the Vikings didn’t do a great job grooming, developing and giving opportunities to younger guys.

    Instead of slowly giving them playing time and developing them… We give them no playing time or we throw them to the wolves and ask them to sink or swim

  54. By Carl K on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    No reason that C King shouldn’t have gotten a couple carries in the last 2 meaningless games. very sad.
    D love never got to play a snap after busting his butt all year in practice against
    J Allen and E Griffin.

  55. By Josh on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    Boykin’s 2,593 return yards for George blows Asher Allen’s 1,256 return yards out of the water.

  56. By andy on Jan 2, 2012 | Reply

    Justin Blackmon is a beast

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