Brett Favre and Jay Cutler were supposed to lead their new teams to new heights after so any disappointments at QB in recent years, but while the Favre experiment in Minnesota has been better than anyone expected, the Cutler era in Chicago continues to disappoint.
Favre passed for a season-high 392 yards and three touchdowns, and the Vikings intercepted Cutler twice in a 36-10 victory over the Bears on Sunday.
Favre went 32 for 48 without a turnover and was 10 yards off his career best, throwing touchdowns to Visanthe Shiancoe, Chester Taylor and Percy Harvin, the unflappable rookie who had his best game yet.
The Vikings (10-1) outgained the Bears by a whopping 537 yards to 169 and breezed to their fifth straight win, despite two more fumbles and a pedestrian 85 yards on 25 carries by Adrian Peterson.
His short, late touchdown run put Minnesota over 32 points for the sixth time this season. The Vikings had 31 first downs, the Bears just eight.
Cutler was precise in the short passing game and effective in the no-huddle, keeping the Bears (4-7) in it until late in the second quarter. He was picked off by a diving Cedric Griffin in the end zone. Then on the next possession, E.J. Henderson got his hand on a ball over the middle that Jared Allen jumped up and caught with 57 seconds left in the half.
Favre drove the Vikings 70 yards for a 24-7 advantage, and Ryan Longwell kicked two of his three field goals after halftime to further stretch the lead.
When the Vikings finally persuaded Favre to keep playing and join his former NFC North rivals, they added what was widely viewed as their missing piece for championship contention. That's exactly the way it has been working out for them.
Cutler came to Chicago as the long-sought strong-armed quarterback that has been missing there for decades, but the Bears don't have nearly as talented of a supporting cast. Cutler reached his career high with 20 interceptions, with 15 of those coming in the last seven games. The Bears have lost six of those.
Harvin carried twice for 45 yards and had six receptions for 101 yards, continuing to catch tough needle-eye passes from Favre that the 40-year-old isn't afraid to throw to the rookie in traffic. Sidney Rice and Bernard Berrian each had six catches, too, and Minnesota's offensive machine rolled forward.
The Vikings were on the verge of scoring on the game's opening drive, but Peterson was gang-tackled at the 30, Hunter Hillenmeyer punched the ball out and Alex Brown recovered. Peterson has lost all five of his fumbles this year, and in 41 career games he has fumbled 19 times and lost 12. Peterson caught a break in the third quarter when Hillenmeyer forced the ball out again, but the Vikings challenged and Hillenmeyer was ruled out of bounds.
Matt Forte had only eight attempts for 27 yards rushing for the Bears.
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