The Chicago Bears gave their fans a treat at Soldier Field, rather than a trick on Halloween night.
With the return of quarterback Jay Cutler the Bears got a much-needed win before the bye week, taking down the NFC North-leading Minnesota Vikings 20-10.
Judging by the performance you would have thought the Bears were the team entering the game at 5-1 on the season and Minnesota at 1-6.
Chicago’s defense took advantage of a poor outing by the Vikings offensive line, sacking QB Sam Bradford five times in the game. They held the Vikings to just 258 yards of total offense and just 2-of-13 on third downs.
But it wasn’t just the Bears defense that stepped up.
The Bears put together one of their better games offensively this season and it came against the NFL's top-ranked defense. Cutler helped lead an offense that entered the game dead last in the NFL averaging 15.9 points per contest, through eight weeks.
On the third play of Chicago’s first possession, the Bears offensive line opened up a big hole for running back Jordan Howard. The rookie scampered 69 yards putting the Bears in the red zone. The drive resulted in a Connor Barth field goal.
The Bears would add another Barth field goal early in the second quarter to go up 6-0 but, even with two field goals, Chicago’s red zone struggles continued. That is until Cutler marched the Bears down the field on a drive on their second possession of the 2nd quarter that resulted in a Howard two-yard TD run.
Minnesota would add a field goal just before halftime to cut into the lead, making it 13-3.
Chicago answered right back with a touchdown drive on their opening possession of the second half, marching 75 yards on 11 plays on a drive that spanned 5:08. Cutler found receiver Alshon Jeffery for an 11-yard touchdown to cap off the Bears scoring. It was Jeffery’s first touchdown of the season. The fourth-year receiver finished with 8 receptions for 63 yards.
In his first game back from a thumb injury, Cutler threw for 252 yards and completed 20-of-31 attempts. More importantly he didn’t turn the ball over.
The Vikings added a touchdown late to make it a 10-point game but Chicago successfully ran out the clock behind Howard. The rookie had 153 yards on the ground and an additional 49 yards receiving for his best offensive output of the season.
Chicago heads into the bye week at 2-6 and will be on the road for two straight games -- at Tampa Bay and at the New York Giants -- coming out of the bye.null