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The Chicago Bears routed the Minnesota Vikings 39-10 to move to 3-3 on the season and gain some much needed ground in the NFC North division. The Bears served the Vikings a steady dose of Matt Forte, hard nose defense, and Devin Hester. From the first Chicago offensive series the tone was set as Jay Cutler threw a 48 touchdown pass to a streaking Hester.
Not to be outdone, the defense forced a safety on Viking QB Donovan McNabb, giving the Bears there first safety since early 2009. From there Cutler went to work through the air as his whittled offensive line provided him with protection not evident in any of the previous game this season — a task not thought possible, since Minnesota has the second best pass rushing defense in the NFL.
Shockingly the Bears offensive line only allowed Cutler to be sacked once all night and afforded him time to sit in the pocket. This was an almost night and day difference from last week against the Detroit Lions where Cutler was under duress the entire night. With the offense humming on all levels, almost scoring at will, and a stingy defense only allowing 3 points, the Bears jumped out to big 26-3 lead at halftime.
However the Vikings would not go quietly into the night. Early in the 3rd, Jared Allen sacked Cutler and in the process created at fumbled ball which Allen recovered. With a short field the Vikings behind their star running back Adrian Peterson managed a touchdown drive. Peterson carried the ball in from 4 yards out and the momentum seemed to be shifting in the Vikings favor, until they made a crucial mistake.
It has been said around the NFL that you don’t kick the ball to Devin Hester. The Vikings must have missed that memo as Hester returned the kickoff for a 98 touchdown, and shut off any steam the Vikings were gathering. Hester’s kickoff return put the game firmly out of reach, prompting the Vikings to replace McNabb with their 2011 first round draft pick Christian Ponder.
In his first action as a QB in the NFL, Ponder did some things well such as reading the defensive pressure, hitting open receivers, and extending plays with his feet. Ponder still showed that he was a rookie by overthrowing a few receivers, but he played well enough to stir up some quarterback controversy, especially with Minnesota’s 1-5 record.
The only question left to ponder is the Vikings QB position. Will they stick with the old or bring in the future?
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