Grading the Game: Vikings

Even though the Bears trounced the Vikings on the scoreboard, not all phases of the game performed well in the 28-3 victory.

PASSING OFFENSE: C-minus -- Kyle Orton was again efficient, with the same 84.9 passer rating as the week before. He completed 16-of-25 passes, but again for only 117 yards, although he had two short TD passes to TE Desmond Clark. Orton was sacked three times for minus-20 yards, resulting in a net of 97 yards on 28 drop-backs. The Bears did not have pass play longer than 16 yards. Muhsin Muhammad had five catches, but for only 48 yards. No other wideout had more than one catch.

RUSHING OFFENSE: D -- Against the league's worst run defense, the Bears had just 95 yards on 30 attempts for a 3.2-yard average. Playing hurt, Thomas Jones picked up 89 yards on 23 carries (3.9-yard average), but rookie Cedric Benson contributed just two yards on three attempts.

PASS DEFENSE: B -- Almost everything Daunte Culpepper completed and even attempted was underneath. He had just one pass play of more than 18 yards, and although he completed 10 passes to TE Jermaine Wiggins, they netted just 68 yards. Culpepper was also picked off twice, once each by CB Charles Tillman and S Chris Harris, and sacked four times while failing to throw a TD pass.

RUSH DEFENSE: B-minus -- For the fourth straight week, the Bears held an opponent to less than 100 rushing yards, allowing the Vikings 80 on 19 tries. They also held long-time nemesis Daunte Culpepper to one rush for 14 yards.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B -- Rookie Robbie Gould was outstanding on kickoffs, as the Vikings averaged just 18.2 yards on five returns and had an average starting point at their own 24-yard line after kickoffs. Bobby Wade's 49-yard punt return jump-started the sluggish Bears offense, setting up the first TD.

COACHING: C-plus -- This time the conservative offensive game plan worked, thanks to the defense and special teams. They did allow QB Kyle Orton to open things up a little bit, but not much. The defensive scheme forced Daunte Culpepper to throw underneath all day, which worked out well for the Bears.


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