Tommy Kramer threw scoring passes to Ahmad Rashad and Joe Senser as the Minnesota Vikings took a 17-0 lead, then struggled to a 24-21 victory over the Chicago Bears today.
The Bears could have forced overtime, but Hans Nielsen missed a 27-yard field goal attempt with one second left in the game. The Vikings also withstood a fine performance by quarterback Vince Evans, a surprise starter who passed for two scores and ran for another.
The Bears got confused after moving deep into Viking territory in the closing seconds. With five seconds left, they tried to get their field goal unit onto the field, but Evans quickly lined up his offense and the Bears had too many players on the field. The Vikings also were called for too many men on the field, giving the Bears one second for Nielsen's kick. It went wide to the left.
Evans completed a 16-yard touchdown pass to Brian Baschnagel late in the first half for Chicago's first score. He cut the deficit to 17-14 by running four yards to score midway in the third quarter.
Kramer, who passed 15 yards to Rashad to give the Vikings their 17-0 lead, completed an 11-yarder to Senserfor a 24-14 lead with 1:49 left in the third quarter.
But Evans ended an 80-yard drive by throwing to Baschnagel for a seven-yard touchdown with 12:28 left in the game.
Minnesota is 3-2 and Chicago is 1-4.
Kramer completed 20 of 38 passes for 223 yards. Evans had 26 of 43 for 307 as Chicago lost its 10th straight at Metropolitan Stadium.
Walter Payton of the Bears was held to 49 yards on 20 carries. He has yet to gain 100 yards in a game this season.