As originally posted here.
Bears receiver and return specialist Devin Hester came up with two long scores capping off a drubbing of the Vikings, 39-10 at Soldier Field. The Vikings benched starter quarterback Donovan McNabb, who may be seeing his final days as a viable NFL starter, for rookie Christian Ponder.
The Bears jumped to a 16-0 lead before the Vikings scored their first points of the game, a 37-yard field goal from kicker Ryan Longwell, 3:23 minutes into the second quarter. The Bears responded by adding 10 points to lead 26-3 at the half with contributions.
The Vikings scored their only touchdown, a 4-yard run from All-Star running back Adrian Peterson, after a fumble defensive end Jared Allen forced and recovered a fumble from Bears quarterback Jay Cutler at the Chicago 44.
The Bears responded with a 98-yard kickoff return from Devin Hester and a volley of field goals from kicker Robbie Gould to finish an outmatched Viking team.
Devin Hester caught 5 passes for 91 yards and a touchdown. He also ran back a kickoff for a touchdown.
Jay Cutler completed 21 passes out of 31 for 267 yards and threw for two touchdowns. It is as complete a game as it gets for him.
The Chicago defense held the Vikings to 286 overall yards (233 passing and 53 rushing).
Adrian Peterson was held to 39 yards on 12 carries and one score. At this point, you cannot really blame him for essentially being the Barry Sanders of this generation despite McNabb only missing five passes and throwing for 177, the Vikings could not get anything going.
Most telling stat/fact
The Bears defense came into the game 29th overall and 28th against the run. Peterson, for all intensive purposes, should have been salivating for this matchup, yet it was the Bears who made it abundantly clear that they are going to make a run for the playoffs.
Hester’s 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown was his first since the Nov. 25, 2007 game against Denver.
What it means for the Bears
The Bears will travel to sunny, Wembley Stadium? Yeah, they will go travel to London for the NFL obligatory game against the “home” team Tampa Bay Buccaneers before they go on their bye week. They have a sizeable mountain to climb if they’re to catch up to the up-and-coming Detroit Lions and undefeated Green Bay Packers.
What it means for the Vikings
The Vikings will have to do some soul searching to what by all means looking like salvaging what is left for the season. No team in NFL history has ever started 1-5 and made the playoffs. Given the holes the Vikings have, that’s not going to change any time soon. The Vikings can probably let McNabb play a few more games to gauge his viability in the free agent market, but at this point with nothing to lose, they need to give Christian Ponder some more reps so he can start being their future.