It was yet another rotten performance by Brad Johnson, as he threw four costly interceptions, and one was run back for a touchdown as the Vikings lost to the Chicago Bears, 23-13 at cold Soldier Field in Chicago. The Bears became the first NFL team to wrap up a playoff spot, as they are officially the champions of the NFC North division.
This may finally be it for Johnson, as he went 11-for-26, for only 73 yards, and the Bears turned two of his interceptions in touchdowns. He was pulled by Brad Childress in favor of backup Brooks Bollinger in the third quarter. Bollinger left with an injury late in the fourth, and Tarvaris Jackson made his NFL debut in relief of him. He went 3-for-4 for 35 yards in his brief stint.
The game was a disaster for the Bears on offense. Rex Grossman could do absolutely nothing for Chicago, and heard the boo birds all day long. They turned the ball over five times, and gained only 108 total yards. And yet they beat the Vikings by ten points. The Vikings blew numerous opportunties, and could score only once when they were in the red zone. They were also terrible on special teams, as Devin Hester returned a punt for a TD, and the Bears seemed to have good field position most of the game.
The Vikings rushed for 192 yards against the great Bears defense, and it was another great day for Chester Taylor, who rushed for 99 yards before leaving with bruised ribs in the third quarter. He went over the 1000-yard mark for the year.
The Vikings are now 5-7, and for all practical purposes are playing out the schedule. They play Detroit next Sunday at Ford Field, and it might be the right time to give Jackson his first NFL start. He really couldn't do much worse than Johnson.
It's time to take a serious look at what maybe the Vikings future.