The Chicago Bears picked up their eighth win of the season as they defeated the Minnesota Vikings 28-10 at Soldier Field.
The Bears created three turnovers on defense turning them into 14 points. They had an effective running game led by Michael Bush’s two rushing touchdowns.
Linebacker Nick Roach stripped Vikings RB Adrian Peterson early in the first quarter and Charles Tillman recovered it.
Safety Chris Conte picked off Vikings QB Christian Ponder late in the third quarter and Safety Major Wright recovered a fumble on a rush by Ponder in the fourth quarter.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler looked solid in his first game back since suffering a concussion in Week 10.
He completed 23 of 31 passes for 188 yards for one touchdown and one interception and a passer rating of 86.5. He was sacked only once on the afternoon as he had solid protection for most of the game.
12 of those 23 passes were reeled in by WR Brandon Marshall, who racked up 92 yards on the day. He went over 1,000 yards receiving on the season and became the first Bears WR since Marty Booker (2002) to rack up over 1,000 receiving yards in one season.
WR Earl Bennett came up with some big catches. He caught four passes for 45 yards.
Unfortunately the Bears were nicked up on the afternoon losing five players in the process of winning.
Guards Lance Louis (knee) and Chris Spencer (knee), CB Charles Tillman (ankle), RB Matt Forte (ankle), and WR Devin Hester (concussion) all left the game and didn’t return due to injuries.
Louis was replaced by Gabe Carimi on the right side and Spencer was replaced by Edwin Williams on the left side. Tillman looked to be okay as he was often coaching up the secondary on the sideline, Kelvin Hayden replaced him. Forte walked off gingerly in the third quarter as Bush replaced him for the rest of the day. Hester left in the first quarter and was replaced by Eric Weems.
Defensive tackle Henry Melton sacked Ponder on the first play from scrimmage. Defensive ends Shea McClellin and Israel Idonije brought Ponder down in the second half. Despite only recording two sacks on the afternoon the Bears brought pressure often.
They really rattled Ponder as he completed just 22 of 43 passes for 159 yards and one touchdown and one interception.
The tight ends made some big plays for both teams in this NFC North battle. Kyle Rudolph added the only Vikings touchdown, while Matt Spaeth reeled in an impressive 13-yard touchdown pass late in the second quarter.
Jay Cutler seemed at ease in his return minus a bad throw to Marshall which wound up getting intercepted by Antonie Winfield on a tipped pass.
Cutler was frustrated at TE Kellen Davis, who caught only one of his four targets on the day. Cutler mouthed “are you f***ing kidding me” after Davis dropped yet another pass.
Overall, it was a nice bounce back win for the Bears who were in control of the game from beginning to end. The offensive line held its own as Jay Cutler made big plays all afternoon long. Cutler wanted to hit Marshall over the top late in the game, but it landed just out of Marshall’s reach.
The Bears have to build off this win and keep what their doing right going because they looked solid around.
At 8-3, the Bears are currently on top of the NFC North, but it could be a battle to the end with the rival Packers.
The Bears welcome the Seahawks (6-5) to town next Sunday afternoon.