The Chicago Bears needed a spark against the Minnesota Vikings, so they got creative and ran a fake punt through their punter Pat O’Donnell.
The Minnesota Vikings and Chicago Bears came out extremely flat on Monday Night Football. The Vikings went into the first half leading 3-2 — is it possible they were distracted by the Star Wars: The Last Jedi trailer?
Whatever the case, the Bears made things worse when they gave up a touchdown early in the third quarter. It’s hard enough for any offense to score on the Vikings defense, so perhaps that’s why the Bears went to their special teams for a spark.
After another failed third-down conversion, Pat O’Donnell came out for what would’ve been his seventh punt of the game. Instead, he executed the fake punt to perfection and found Benny Cunningham for a touchdown:
Rather than start him right away, the Bears decided to wait on playing Mitch Trubisky. His first game hasn’t been bad, although he did lose a fumble. But not only has Trubisky been upstaged by Star Wars, his punter has now thrown a touchdown before he has.
Despite being down by eight, the Bears elected to kick the extra point instead of tying it right then and there. That type of conservative play-calling could come back to haunt them if the Vikings end up winning this game by a point.
Everyone’s going to start getting in their “Pat O’Donnell is the best thrower in Chicago” jokes, but don’t use this fake punt as an opportunity to bury Trubisky. Obviously, the trade that Ryan Pace made to move up to get him is still scrutinized to this day, but it’s clear they believed in him as their future face of the franchise. Considering the quarterback’s the most important position in football, it can sometimes take that many pieces to acquire one.
The Vikings are obviously a class above the Bears, but they have lost eight of their last 10 games in Chicago. Trubisky and Pat O’Donnell will hope to keep that trend alive.