All season, the Chicago Bears have found ways to lose. On Monday night, they watched the Minnesota Vikings do the same.

After losing Robert Smith and Warren Moon, the Vikings lost the game 15-13. Walt Harris blocked a field goal attempt with 3:47 to play, and Bryan Cox forced and recovered a fumble two minutes later as the Bears held on to beat slumping Minnesota.It was only the second win for the Bears (3-5) since a season-opening victory over the defending Super Bowl champion Dallas Cowboys.

"I don't know how we stack up against other teams in the league, but I do know that there's not any team in the league that plays harder than this group," said Chicago coach Dave Wannstedt, who won for the third time in his last four trips to the Metrodome. "This football team deserved to win this game."

The battered Bears, who got a boost from the return of several injured players, built a 15-3 halftime lead behind Dave Krieg's passing and their first rushing touchdown of the season, a 1-yard dive by Rashaan Salaam. They held the Vikings (5-3) to a franchise-worst 11 rushing yards, and they watched the Vikings bumble to their third loss in four games.

Minnesota was penalized 12 times for 75 yards, saw two kicks blocked, gave up five sacks and committed two turnovers, both of which proved costly.

The first, Mark Carrier's diving interception of a Moon pass with 23 seconds left in the first half, led to the second of Jeff Jaeger's two field goals.

The last, Cox's fumble recovery, ended Minnesota's last chance.

It was a costly loss for the Vikings because of the injuries and their second-half schedule, which includes Kansas City and Denver at home and Oakland, Detroit and Green Bay on the road.

"It comes down to poise," said Qadry Ismail, who caught a 54-yard touchdown pass from Moon in the third quarter. "Unfortunately, we didn't have any."

The Vikings lost Smith, the NFC's second-leading rusher, late in the first quarter with an injured left knee. With torn ligaments, he might be done for the season.

After Moon rallied the Vikings with 10 third-quarter points, he reinjured his right ankle when he was hit by Jim Flanigan while throwing an incompletion.

Brad Johnson, who led the Vikings to a comeback win in the season-opener after Moon was hurt, came in to loud cheers with 11:58 left in the game and twice led Minnesota into scoring range.

But Harris charged through virtually untouched to block Scott Sisson's 48-yard field goal attempt.

"I feel every time I have a chance," said Harris, a rookie. "I got a real good jump off the ball. I think (Sisson) took his time to make sure he made it."

The Vikings defense, which played well in the second half, immediately got the ball back. John Randle stormed in to deflect a Krieg pass, and backup defensive tackle Jason Fisk dove to intercept it at the Chicago 49.

Johnson's 18-yard pass to Jake Reed gave Minnesota a first down at the Chicago 31. But on third-and-14 at the 35, Cox stripped a scrambling Johnson and pounced on the fumble.

Johnson, who might find himself in the middle of a quarterback controversy after Minnesota's offense continued to sputter with Moon, completed 10 of 15 passes for 79 yards.

"Brad did a courageous job," said Vikings coach Dennis Green. "He tried to get us into the end zone. But we needed to score points, and we didn't."

Although the Vikings got a career-high 11 catches for 153 yards from Reed, they managed only 11 rushing yards on 14 carries. Flanigan, one of the injured Bears making his return, had one of Chicago's five sacks along with his game-ending hit on Moon.

Krieg, who took over for injured Erik Kramer four games ago and was playing eight days after his 38th birthday, was outstanding in the first half, completing 18 of 26 passes for 152 yards as the Bears built their surprising lead.

Krieg was just 5-for-9 for 35 yards after halftime. Fortunately for the Bears, their defense stiffened when it had to.

"This win does a lot for this team," Krieg said. "I think it's big."