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The Chicago Bears improved to 8-3 and 5-1 at Soldier Field with their 28-10 victory over NFC North rival the Minnesota Vikings, snapping a two game losing streak.
Bears quarterback Jay Cutler had a quiet yet efficient game returning from injury completing 23-of-31 passes for 188 yards one touchdown and one interception.
His 74.2% completion percentage was a season best thus far for the seven-year quarterback. Cutler connected with tight-end Matt Spaeth in the second quarter for his first touchdown of the year.
Wide receiver Brandon Marshall continues to be Cutlers favorite target each week. Marshall caught 12 passes for 92 yards in the victory. This was the second time this season Marshall caught 12 passes in a single game. His 81 catches is a team high and there is not another receiver on the team that has more than 30 catches.
In the third quarter, the Bears offense lost playmaking running back Matt Forte. Forte exited the game with a right ankle injury; the same ankle where he suffered a high ankle sprain earlier in the season. Michael Bush took over at running back and had 21 carries for 60 yards and two touchdowns. The Bears also lost wideout Devin Hester, who left the game with an apparent concussion.
The Bears defense bounced back this week after not forcing a single turnover in last weeks loss over the San Francisco 49ers. Safety Chris Conte caught his second interception, safety Major Wright and cornerback Charles Tillman both recovered fumbles.
As for the Vikings, quarterback Christian Ponder completed 22-of-43 passes for 159 yards, one touchdown, one fumble and one interception. Ponder connected with tight-end Kyle Rudolph in the third quarter for his long touchdown toss. Rudolph caught five passes for 55 yards along with his touchdown before exiting the game in the fourth quarter to be evaluated for a concussion.
Adrian Peterson continued his dominance, rushing with 18 carries for 108 yards. Peterson also caught six passes for 30 yards. Peterson’s only mistake against the Bears was a fumble. Peterson has rushed for over 100 yards for the fifth consecutive game and sixth time this season.
The Vikings were without wideout Percy Harvin, who was inactive again, nursing an ankle injury. As a result, rookie Jarius Wright took over the wideout spot. Wright caught seven passes for 49 yards.
The loss for the Vikings pushes them back to 6-5 but still keeps them well in contention in the playoff hunt. The Vikings will be on the road again next week against NFC North rivals the Green Bay Packers. The Vikings continue to struggle away from home, only recording one win this season. The Bears will host the Seattle Seahawks next week as they fight for first place in the division.
Image Courtesy : WCHI News