Dressing in their 1940s throwback jerseys, the Chicago Bears (6-3) beat the Minnesota Vikings (3-6) 27-13 today with dominant defense and special teams.
The Vikings took the first lead of the game with a 36-yard field goal by kicker Ryan Longwell with 3:30 remaining in the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Bears came back at the 6:57 mark to take a 7-3 lead after a 17 yard-pass to Bears tight end Greg Olsen for the touchdown.
Coming back at 3:17, the Vikings scored with a 53-yard touchdown pass by Favre to wide receiver Percy Harvin to lead 10-7 but the Bears ended the quarter with another touchdown by wide receiver Devin Hester at the :44 mark.
Harvin was later knocked out of the game. In addition to suffering from migraines this week, he had had ankle problems.
The Bears entered the locker room at halftime with a 14-10 lead.
Returning from the half, Bears kicker Robbie Gould hit a 34-yard field goal, followed by a Longwell 33-yard field goal (and the Vikings last score of the game). It was now a 17-13 Bears lead in the third quarter. They concluded the quarter with a 37-yard field goal set up by a 68-yard kickoff return by Hester.
Entering the fourth quarter with a 20-13 lead, Cutler threw a 19-yard touchdown pass on a third-and-one play to tight end Kellen Davis at the 8:37 mark.
Kellen who? This was the third year veteran’s first game of the season.
After last week’s amazing comeback against the Arizona Cardinals (Favre’s career best of 446 yards and a 14-point deficit comeback), the Vikings kept battling for another miraculous win but it wasn’t in the cards today. Bears linebacker Lance Briggs intercepted Favre at the Minnesota 37 and with 2:26 remaining, Bears safety Chris Harris picked off Favre.
In the battle of the quarterbacks most likely to throw multiple picks in a game, Favre won today. He went 18 of 31 for 170 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions and one fumble. By the end of the game, he looked mentally defeated.
Cutler went 21 of 34 for 226 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions. Dare I say, Cutler was actually smiling more than usual today?
Bears running backs Matt Forte had 21 carries for 69 yards and Chester Taylor, the ex-Vikings player, came away with 11 carries for 33 yards. On the receving side, wide receiver Johnny Knox had five receptions for 90 yards. There was also a guest appearance by wide receiver Devin Aromashodu.
In the preseason, the Vikings had been picked as NFC North contenders but after the continuous Favre injuries and alleged extracurricular activities, the failed Randy Moss experiment and the team’s growing discontent with Vikings coach Brad Childress, the team has been on collision course for disaster. They needed a win today and one next week against the Green Bay Packers to keep their playoff hopes alive.
After today’s loss, the Vikings owner Zygi Wilf said he has no plans to fire Childress.
With today’s win, the Bears are now tied with the Green Bay Packers (6-3) for the lead in the NFC North. On Thursday, the Bears will travel to Miami to take on the Dolphins.
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Written by Debbie Baratz