PASSING OFFENSE: D - On paper, Donovan McNabb had his best game statistically with only five incompletions, two of which were drops. Don't, however, make the mistake of judging a quarterback on paper. McNabb's accuracy continued to be an issue. For example, a 30-yard completion to Bernard Berrian could have been a touchdown had Berrian not had to stop to catch the ball. The pass protection was awful and no plays were made in the passing game to get the Bears out of eight- and nine-man fronts with a single-high safety. Rookie Christian Ponder made his NFL regular-season debut. Playing most of the fourth quarter, he looked like a rookie, completing 9 of 17 passes for 99 yards.
RUSHING OFFENSE: D - The Vikings ran the ball only 17 times, but fell far behind so early that they couldn't stick with the run. And if they had stuck with the run, they wouldn't have moved the Bears off the ball without a legitimate passing attack. Adrian Peterson had just 39 yards and one touchdown on 12 carries (3.3), while the team averaged 3.1 yards on 17 carries. The Bears have caught on to Peterson lately. Although Peterson went into Sunday's game averaging 112 yards per game in seven meetings, he's been held under 100 yards the past four meetings. He has 90 yards on 29 carries the past two meetings.
PASS DEFENSE: F - Against a Bears offense that had allowed Jay Cutler to be sacked 70 times in his past 20 regular-season games, the Vikings' vaunted pass rush could muster virtually no pressure, except for Jared Allen's strip sack with the game already out of hand in the third quarter. The Bears used max protection and a balance between the run and pass to give Cutler all the time he needed to shred the Vikings' secondary, particularly cornerback Cedric Griffin. Roy Williams beat Griffin for a 17-yard gain on the Bears' second offensive snap. One play later, Devin Hester blew past Griffin for a 48-yard touchdown.
RUSH DEFENSE: D - One of the reasons Cutler stayed upright and dangerous was the Vikings couldn't stop running back Matt Forte. He didn't have a monster game, but his 5.1-yard average on 17 carries was all the balance the Bears needed, and more. Forte would have easily topped 100 yards if he hadn't been pulled late in the game.
SPECIAL TEAMS: F - Other than early on in the first quarter, there were only 14 seconds in which one felt the Vikings had a chance to make the game a contest. Adrian Peterson scored on a 4-yard run with 10:23 left in the third quarter to make it a 26-10 game. Unfortunately for the Vikings, their nemesis, Devin Hester, returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a touchdown and a 33-10 lead that broke the Vikings' will. Hester, who torments the Vikings yearly, also had a 27-yard punt return. Vikings punter Chris Kluwe felt the strain of punting to Hester, who has three career punt returns for touchdowns against Kluwe. One of Kluwe's attempts to punt the ball away from Hester traveled only 18 yards and set up a 33-yard touchdown drive.
COACHING: F - A week ago, the Bears' run defense and offensive line were gashed in an ugly loss at Detroit. The feeling among the Vikings was that played right into their strengths, which are Adrian Peterson and pass-rushing ends Jared Allen and Brian Robison. But when the Bears made adjustments to correct what happened in Detroit, the Vikings had no counter moves. The Bears went into full max protection mode and neutralized the Vikings' front four. And on defense, the Bears packed the line of scrimmage with eight- and nine-man fronts. They played almost the entire game with a single-high safety, daring the Vikings to beat them passing the ball. The Vikings simply had no answers to the Bears' changes.
Grading the game: Bears
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