Minnesota Vikings vs. Chicago Bears: Live Score, Highlights and Analysis
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Despite losing five players to injuries, including Devin Hester and Matt Forte, the Bears dominated the Vikings behind the return of Jay Cutler. Cutler finished day completing 23 of 31 passes for only 188 yards, but 12 of those passes went to Brandon Marshall. On the day Marshall surpassed 1,000 receiving yards on the season adding another 92 yards against the Vikings.
The Bears' defense limited the Vikings to 258 yards, and turned three Minnesota turnovers into 14 points.
On the bright side for the Vikings, Adrian Peterson had his fifth consecutive 100-yard rushing game finishing with 108 yards on 18 carries. Unfortunately, two of the three Vikings turnovers were Peterson fumbles. Tight end Kyle Rudolph had his seventh touchdown reception in the third quarter for the Vikings only touchdown, but he would leave in the fourth quarter with a concussion.
The win assures the Bears at least a share in the division lead as the Packers play the Giants in New York Sunday night. The Bears host the Seahawks next Sunday before the rematch with the Vikings at the Metrodome.
The loss pushes the Vikings to 6-5, and makes their chances of making the playoffs very difficult. The road doesn't get any easier as the Vikings play at Green Bay next week.
This one was all Bears as they built a 25-3 halftime lead.
Final: Bears 28, Viking 10.
No surprises here. The Bears did what a good team does, move the ball and score touchdowns against an inferior opponent.
For the Vikings, the best part of the game was Adrian Peterson as it it very apparent the Vikings don't have a go-to receiver without Percy Harvin. With the potential loss of tight end Kyle Rudolph to a concussion, it will be tough even with the return of Harvin.
In the end my prediction of 27-12 wasn't that far off. That's very unusual, since I am the worst prognosticator in the entire world.
For Bears' fans the injuries have to be concerning, but fortunately there is really only one tough game left on the schedule—Week 15 when they host the Packers.
Vikings' fans need to keep reminding themselves that the Vikings have won twice as many games as last season—even if they fail to win another game this season.
8:23 left in the game.
As the Vikings get the ball back following a three-and-out by the Bears, tight end Kyle Rudolph is heading to the locker room.
Now the Vikings are without their top two receivers—Percy Harvin and Rudolph. No explanation as to what happened to Rudolph.
The Vikings must continue to give the ball to Adrian Peterson.
14:04 left in the game.
The Vikings just gave the Bears another gift.
Facing a 3rd-and-2 from the Bears' eight yard line, head coach Leslie Frazier calls two pass plays and turns the ball over on downs.
Adrian Peterson had 38 yards on four carries on the drive, the smart move would be to give him the ball and convert one of the two plays into a first down.
While l like the call to go for it on fourth down, I really don't like the play calling.
End of the third quarter.
With the Bears up by three scores the Vikings have their best drive of the afternoon, with an 11-play drive that has covered 54 yards.
The Vikings will open the fourth quarter with the ball on the Bears' 26-yard line. Adrian Peterson has been running angry on the drive with 30 yards rushing.
Upon further review...
The ball was given back to the Bears.
Matt Forte, who fumbled the ball is now limping his way back to the locker room.
This is quickly becoming a very expensive game for the Bears.
6:12 left in the third quarter.
Great job by the officials! They stood around and stared at each other as no one blew a whistle.
Looking at each other they finally make a touchdown call after Mistral Raymond returns the fumble 51 yards for a touchdown.
The call was reviewed and confirmed by the booth, or not.
As they make a correction and will review the play.
12:57 left in the third quarter.
Antoine Winfield comes up with an interception off a tipped ball intended for Brandon Marshall on the Bears first drive of the second half.
The Vikings first drive of the second half starts in Chicago territory.
Now the Vikings need to make a statement and put the ball in the end zone.
Adrian Peterson has only seven carries for 25 yards in the first half.
The Vikings should forget about any chance of winning this game and focus on establishing something on offense. That means giving the ball to Peterson and look to move the ball down the field.
While this game is over, the Vikings have a tough schedule ahead of them, and they need to find something positive to take into their game next week against the Packers in Green Bay—another extremely tough test.
0:54 left in the first half.
Are you kidding me! Jay Cutler is wrapped up and being spun down for a sack and he somehow finds Matt Forte for a completion.
When Cutler is on, he can make some plays, and he is on today.
1:55 left in the first half.
Christian Ponder throws his ninth interception of the season as Chris Conte returns the ball to the Vikings 12-yard line.
After driving 80 yards and taking a 15-3 lead the Bears are once again looking to score. Starting with the ball in the second half this game is very quickly slipping away from the Vikings.
It's the Bears league-leading 20th interception of the season.
5:20 left in the half.
Devin Hester has been ruled out for the rest of the game with a concussion as reported by Fox.
12:05 left in the first half.
Blair Walsh misses only his second field goal of the season. The Bears special teams comes up big, with Julius Peppers blocking a 29-yard attempt by Walsh as the Vikings' drive stalled at the Chicago 12-yard line.
This bodes well for Chicago and the Bears as they continue to dictate the game to the Vikings.
14:24 left in the first half.
The Vikings finally get a first down on their fifth possession of the game. It comes on a 25-yard catch and run by tight end Kyle Rudolph.
On another note: Devin Hester has gone to the locker room. Unsure as to what his condition is.
7:21 left in the first quarter.
The Bears were able to capitalize on the fumble by Adrian Peterson with a touchdown, and take a 7-3 lead.
The first eight minutes might be indicative of how this game will go as the Vikings kick field goals and the Bears score touchdowns.
10:07 left in the first quarter.
Adrian Peterson returns the favor and fumbles the football back to the Bears on their first play following a Chicago punt.
There must be something in the cold air of Chicago making the ball a little slick with a couple of reliable backs putting the ball on the ground.
That evens the turnover count.
13:12 left in the first quarter. The Vikings have not won a game this season when they lost the turnover battle.
A fumble by Matt Forte on the Bears' first play gives the ball to the Vikings deep in Chicago territory.
Great call by Lovie Smith to defer to second half after winning the coin toss.
The Bears defense looks like they have come to play forcing Minnesota into a three-and-out.
The Vikings will start with the ball, and the disadvantage of not having Percy Harvin who is fourth in the NFL with a 35.9 return average.
The inactive players for the Minnesota Vikings:
QB McLeod Bethel-Thompson
WR Percy Harvin
DB Brandon Burton
LB Audie Cole
G Mark Asper
TE Allen Reisner
DE D'Aundre Reed
The inactive players for the Chicago Bears:
QB Josh McCown
WR Alshon Jeffrey
WR Dane Sanzenbacher
DT Matt Toeaina
DT Amobi Okoye
T James Brown
DE Cheta Ozougwu
To no surprise, the Sunday NFL Coutdown team on ESPN, Tom JAckson, Cris Carter, Keyshawn Johnson, Mike Ditka and Chris Berman all pick the Bears to beat the Vikings.
I have not been able to find anyone picking the Vikings.
If all of these great football minds, along with the sportswriters in both cities are picking the Bears, who am I to disagree?
The Bears defense comes up big with at least one interception, and the Vikings' scoring will come mainly from rookie kicker Blair Walsh as they struggle near the red zone.
Jay Cutler makes his return to the starting lineup after missing Monday night's game in San Francisco—a 32-7 drubbing by the 49ers in a battle of backup quarterbacks.
Playing behind an offense line that continues it's game of musical chairs, Cutler has been sacked 28 times this season, second only to Aaron Rodgers who has been put to the turf 32 times.
Cutler has a 4-1 record against the Vikings since joining the Bears in 2009. In his favor after missing one game, is his favorite target Brandon Marshall. Marshall leads Chicago with 69 receptions for 925 yards and eight touchdowns.
Look for him to exceed the 1,000-yard mark against the Vikings' defense that is ranked 15th in the league against the pass.
This is a matchup of the NFL's third best rushing offense for the Vikings against the eight best rushing defense.
Minnesota's Adrian Peterson leads the NFL with 112.8 yards per game and 1,128 rushing yards on the season. While not technically a comeback after missing just one game last season, Peterson is having the best season in his six-year career. His 5.8 yards per carry is the highest he's ever finished a season, and in his last three games he's had one carry for at least 60 yards.
In his only other game on grass this season. Peterson rushed for only 79 yards on 17 carries against the Redskins in Week 6.
From the Chicago Sun-Times, it's the same story from their sports staff—all six staff predictions have the Bears winning the game, but only one, Sean Jensen who used to cover the Vikings in the Twin Cities has Chicago covering the spread.
That 11 sportswriters from both cities all picking the Bears. I guess there's no need to play the game. Unless of course you have Adrian Peterson or Brandon Marshall on your fantasy football team.
The Bears are favored by almost a touchdown against the Vikings, in a matchup that could swing depending on the play of key backups.
So who's going to win?
In a show of solidarity, all five sports columnists for the St. Paul Pioneer Press are picking the Bears to win, with only two of the five predicting that the Vikings will cover the spread. Where's the love for the home-town team?
I guess it's best to face reality, instead of trying to misleading Vikings' fans into believing there's a chance for an upset in Chicago, only to have those hopes dashed against the Bears' defense like waves of Lake Michigan crashing against the shore.
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