But the Vikings (3-2) removed him late in the second quarter, and Keenum led the team to a 20-17 victory over the Chicago Bears. He threw an interception to Vikings safety Harrison Smith deep in Bears territory to set up Forbath's winning field goal.
Vikings safety Andrew Sendejo was in the passing lane and tipped the ball with his right hand, but Bears tight end Zach Miller scooped up the deflection for the 20-yard touchdown reception.
Chicago drafted Mitch Trubisky in the first round this past draft, but have nonetheless chosen to stick with Mike Glennon this season. That gave him 146 yards of total offense. Pat Shurmur took advantage of an aggressive Bears defense with several well conceived screen passes, and those kinds of plays that allow McKinnon to get out in space and use his quickness should be incorporated more often. Keenum was able to change the offense's fortunes in the second half. Bradford, the quarterback who tore up defenses to set the National Football League season passing percentage record in 2016 and triggered a hot start for the Vikings in 2017, was erratic, in his return from a knee injury that kept him out of the past three games. Murray ran hard (12 rushes for 31 yards), but didn't make a huge impact (Cook is going to be tough to replace).
The Bears, though, had their own tricks for the Vikings.
Nearly immediately, it was clear that Sam Bradford didn't belong in the game Monday night. But it was clear early on that Bradford was not fully healthy, unable to step into his throws or avoid pressure easily.
Keenum came into the game with 25 seconds left in the first half after Bradford went 5-of-11 for 36 yards and got sacked four times. Backup Case Keenum would start if Bradford couldn't. Penalties bogged down the Bears' offense in the first half, wiping away scoring opportunity after scoring opportunity. Jerick McKinnon fumbled on the kickoff return, but Minnesota was lucky that the ball was recovered out of bounds by the Bears.
"I do think it's very important for me to mention that [Monday] and always we were all on the same page with, 'Should Sam play?' or 'Should Sam not play?'" Sugarman said. He didn't let the Monday Night Football stage get to him as he joined Aaron Rodgers (2008) as the last first round quarterback to make their first start on MNF. He threw a touchdown and an interception and finished the game with a 60.1 quarterback rating.
The play was pretty awesome, but in the end it wasn't enough for the Bears to hold on and knock off the Vikings.
The Bears' special teams units also performed well, but perhaps no play was better than a lovely fake punt in the third quarter to tie the score at 10-10.
That cut the lead to 10-9, but it didn't last long. In his final college game, Trubisky threw the would-be game-winning touchdown three times on the same drive against Stanford, only to have his receivers drop ideal dimes that fell in their hands. The Bears' run game has kept teams honest with Howard doing the dirty work and Cohen being the pass catcher.