Any hope of a Chicago Bears playoff appearance this season was dashed in the dome yesterday, as the Vikings rolled to a 36-10 victory over the struggling Bears.
The 40-year old Brett Favre was simply brilliant, as the 3-time NFL MVP threw for 392 yards and 3 touchdowns on 32-48 passing. An unprecedented fourth MVP award for the ageless Favre is certainly within reach after 11 games.
No surprises in Minneapolis on Sunday afternoon, except perhaps the rather pedestrian 25 carries for 82 yards and touchdown for Adrian Peterson. The Vikings were able to move the ball up and down the field all day, with little resistance from the Bears pass rush. A pass heavy and balanced offensive scheme worked to perfection for Favre and the Vikings. Four Minnesota receivers hauled in a half dozen catches apiece, plus an additional five Favre passes caught by tight end Vinsanthe Shiancoe. The touchdown passes were evenly distributed as well, with a single TD thrown to Percy Harvin, Chester Taylor, and Shiancoe.
The Vikings were an astounding 12 of 18 on third down. Chicago forced just one turnover, and registered a lone sack in another ugly defensive showing. The Bears offense committed the same types of back-breaking errors that have plagued the team all season long. Jay Cutler threw a pair of costly interceptions, bringing his season total to 20. The shoddy Bears offense line surrendered four sacks on the day, and did nothing for the running game, which gained a measly 43 yards all afternoon.
After a scoreless first quarter, Minnesota got on the board with a 15 yard TD play from Favre to Percy Harvin. The Bears were able to answer a couple of minutes later on a Cutler to Johnny Knox TD play that covered 24 yards. That was about it for the Bears. By the time the halftime whistle blew, Chicago was staring at a 24-7 beat-down, officially closing the books on the 2009-10 season.
With five games remaining on the schedule, the Bears look to salvage some pride, as management begins to evaluate the performance of the current roster and coaching staff in preparation for the offseason and draft.
A Bears season that began with a new quarterback, and high hopes at 3-1, has quickly dissolved into one that will certainly bring major changes prior to kickoff in the Fall of 2010.
Chicago is now on the clock.
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Written by Adam Becker