Monday evening’s game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears was largely uneventful, at least when it came to scoring plays. Chicago’s offense struggled mightily throughout the night, ultimately committing three turnovers and giving away a sizable advantage in total yards. Minnesota did just enough to secure what felt like a comfortable win despite generating fewer than 200 yards (and a majestic Kirk Cousins arm punt) and, in the final seconds, the Vikings held a 14-point lead that was quite safe.
However, handicappers were still very much invested as the clock ticked down and, when Justin Fields threw a 19-yard touchdown pass as time expired, it looked briefly as if the Bears might cover, or at least push, from a point spread perspective.
Ainda tivemos tempo para um TD dos Bears com 1 SEGUNDO no relógio… aquele bom e velho ‘garbage time’! pic.twitter.com/Si56uZyGm8
— NFL Brasil (@NFLBrasil) December 21, 2021
As seen above, the touchdown brought Chicago within eight points and, with the extra point, the Bears might have lost by seven. In some places, the final point spread was Vikings -7, meaning that Bears backers were eager for the team to kick the otherwise meaningless extra point. With that said, the NFL changed its rules a handful of seasons ago, eliminating the need to attempt the point after in a situation that would not materially affect the final result.
ESPN’s Steve Levy and Scott Van Pelt, along with many others, made passing reference to the final point potentially mattering for some, and an extra point attempt would have certainly been welcome for those who were invested in Chicago. Alas, the rule was interpreted correctly and, frankly, the Bears gave away so many other scoring opportunities that there were plenty of other things to be annoyed by when rooting for a Chicago cover.