In case you missed it, the Vikings beat the Bears, 20-17. The game was not pretty, as rookie Mitchell Trubisky and Sam Bradford put forth a display of futility I haven’t seen since I first heard Let’s Be Careful Out There on COP ROCK. Bradford, who had the mobility of a disabled sloth, was sacked four times in less than a half for negative 35 yards.
The score just prior to the half was low for a soccer game, as Chicago lead 2-0, before the Vikings mercifully benched Bradford for Case Keenum, who led Minnesota down the field for a field goal and 3-2 halftime lead.
Things picked up in the second half, as the teams traded touchdowns and the Bears actually had a chance to win, with the score tied, they had the ball with under three to play, but then Trubisky threw a bad interception (his second turnover of the night) and that was all she wrote. Overall, the rookie’s first start wasn’t the best. He completed less than half of his passes for only 5.1 yard per attempt, plus those two turnovers. Still, that’s better than anything Mike Glennon had done in his starts…so baby steps, Bears.
Of course, the big news was Minnesota’s backfield. With Dalvin Cook out for the year, Latavius Murray was the big free agent catch in fantasy this week. Yet, after getting the first five carries of the night, Murray took a backseat to Jerick McKinnon, who rolled through the Bears defense. He got 22 total touches and produced 146 yards and a score, compared to Murray’s 14 touches for just 43 yards.
Is McKinnon the feature back? Probably still too soon to know. The running back from Georgia Southern has been there for three plus years now, but the Vikings have never had any faith in him, other than a third-down option. When Peterson got suspended (2014) and hurt (2016), it was Matt Asiata who got the majority of the carries. This year, with Purple Jesus gone, the team then went out and got two new backs (Murray, Cook).
Yet, watching last night’s contest, Murray looked slow, unable to hit any hole with any kind of burst. McKinney looked quick, capable of bursting through a open hole or capable of bouncing outside. While I don’t think we’re going to start seeing 25-25 carries from the fourth-year back, if you got some free agent dough left, I’d spend it on McKinney.