NFL Playoff Picture: Chicago Bears Clinch Division With Win Over Vikings

Chris FaigCorrespondent IDecember 21, 2010

CHICAGO, IL - DECEMBER 12: Jay Cutler #6 of the Chicago Bears reacts after a player from the New England Patriots runs a fumbled ball into the end zone for a touchdown at Soldier Field on December 12, 2010 in Chicago, Illinois. The Patriots defeated the Bears 36-7. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

With Green Bay's heartbreaking loss to the New England Patriots on Sunday, Jay Cutler and the Chicago Bears went into Monday Night's matchup against the Minnesota Vikings knowing that if they came out with a victory, they would be the NFC North divisional champs.

Brett Favre decided to make another start, but was injured by a Bears defender before the first quarter was even over. Joe Webb than took over at quarterback for the Vikings and played quite poorly.  

In about three quarter's of play, Webb completed 15 of 26 passes for 129 yards, two interceptions and a lousy QB rating of 38.8.

While Minnesota didn't receive much production from their quarterback, Chicago's Jay Cutler had a pretty impressive night, throwing 14-24 for 194 yards, three touchdowns, one interception and a 106.6 QB rating. 

Going into halftime with a 17-7 lead, the Bears entered the second half dominating the Vikings by a score of 23-7, beating Minnesota by a total of 40-14.

So far this season when Cutler throws for at least two touchdowns, the Bears are 5-0. With two tough opponents remaining on their schedule this season, in the New York Jets and Green Bay Packers, the Bears must be cautious with Cutler making sure he doesn't get himself injured against these brutal, hard-hitting defenses.

Chicago accompanies the Atlanta Falcons as the only organizations in the NFC who have already clinched a playoff birth. If the Bears can win out, than they will receive a first round bye.  

They are currently tied with Philadelphia at 10-4, but own the tie-break over the Eagles based on their head-to-head win percentage.

If Chicago can secure a first-round bye, then Bears fan's may just witness their second Super Bowl appearance in five seasons.