Reversal of Fortune

Chicago - Randy Moss verbally challenged the Bears defense before the game, but it was the offense that responded to the challenge.

In his Bears debut, Chad Hutchinson did something that no quarterback has done for the team in 38 games. He threw three touchdown passes and led the Bears (5-7) to a 24-14 victory over the Minnesota Vikings (7-5).

"You don't expect efforts like this. No interceptions, three touchdowns, play after play, first time staring – you don't predict this," head coach Lovie Smith said.

Although the Bears defense did force four turnovers and shutout the Vikings in the second half, it was Hutchinson that inspired the victory.

"We needed to have a guy step up like that," Smith said. "Chad really did it all week and he had a ‘look' about him all week. It would have been hard to convince him that he wasn't going to play good today."

The Bears had converted 24.3 percent (28 of 115) of third downs since Rex Grossman went down in the first matchup with the Vikings in Week 3. In the rematch the offense was successful on 10-of-17 third down opportunities, including conversions when 16 and 17 yards were needed.

It took Hutchinson two months to make it onto the field for the Bears, but it was worth the wait considering he was sitting on the couch thinking his career could be over.

"I've learned through the whole situation in Dallas that I'm not playing for anybody else but myself out there and the team," Hutchinson said. "It's nice to put up some numbers and to be like ‘look what you guys missed out on,' but for me that's not a real issue. It's just being out there and having fun and winning a ball game."

When Hutchinson had time to throw he was accurate, completing 18-of-30 attempts for 213 yards. At times he did have to make plays with his feet. He bought himself time by rolling out of the pocket to find Bobby Wade on a 31-yard completion on third and 17. The six-foot-5, 237-pound Hutchinson also scrambled for another first down.

Still the offensive line didn't do a great job of protecting Hutchinson, who was sacked five times and fumbled once. The team's season sack total is now up to 48 with four games remaining on the schedule.

Considering the offense had scored a grand total of 13 points in the previous three games the Bears could have a different record if Hutchinson had gotten on the field earlier.

"I think the way the situation happened was completely fair," Hutchinson said. "So I don't think that there's any second guessing and I think this week was the right time for me to go in."


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