Grading the Game: Bears

It wasn't poetry in motion, but the Vikings did enough to earn a win on Monday night. We review and hand out the grades for the different facets of the game.

PASSING OFFENSE: C-minus — Tarvaris Jackson completed 18 of 29 passes for 249 yards, but this was far from a successful prime-time performance. The quarterback reverted to some of his old ways, throwing three interceptions, losing a fumble and finishing with a subpar 50.0 rating. Jackson was watching from the sideline because of leg cramps when backup Brooks Bollinger handed off to Adrian Peterson for the winning touchdown. Jackson's favorite target was veteran Bobby Wade, who caught six passes for 70 yards in his second game against his former teammates. Jackson ended up completing passes to nine receivers, but overall a review of the game film will reveal this to be a flawed effort for the most part.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B — The Vikings' top-ranked rushing game continues to have success. Adrian Peterson, who only gained 3 yards on 14 carries a week ago in San Francisco, went for 78 yards on 20 attempts with two touchdowns to lead the way against the Bears. Chester Taylor added 31 yards on five carries — his limited carries is a sign the coaching staff is comfortable with the progress Peterson is making in coming back from a slightly torn knee ligament — and quarterback Tarvaris Jackson had 25 yards on seven carries. Minnesota finished with 136 yards on 34 attempts, a 4.0 average. The Vikings have rushed for more than 100 yards in all but one game this season.

PASS DEFENSE: B — The ineptitude of Bears quarterback Kyle Orton played a role in the Vikings pass defense holding Chicago to 177 net yards through the air. Orton completed 22 of 38 attempts as the Vikings gave up their fewest yards passing since a Nov. 4 victory over San Diego and Philip Rivers. Minnesota has surrendered fewer than 200 yards passing only three times this season. The Vikings once again were without veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield for much of a game. Winfield, who has missed four games this season because of a hamstring injury, sat out the second half after hurting his shoulder. Rookie Marcus McCauley replaced Winfield at the left corner spot.

RUSH DEFENSE: B-plus — The Vikings' top-ranked run defense had another stellar game, giving up only 32 yards on 17 carries (a 1.9 average). The longest run by the Bears was a 5-yarder by Chicago's Adrian Peterson as tackles Pat and Kevin Williams continued to shut down opponents. The fact the Bears attempted 38 passes compared to 17 runs shows just how teams feel about trying to put the ball on the ground against this team.

SPECIAL TEAMS: C-plus — The Vikings accomplished their number one goal of keeping Chicago return man Devin Hester out of the end zone. Punter Chris Kluwe's assignment was to keep the ball away from Hester at every opportunity but that didn't always happen. Hester ended up getting his hands on four punts but averaged only 7.3 yards with a long of 17. Kicker Ryan Longwell squibbed the ball on several kickoffs and Hester ended with three returns for 44 yards. The biggest miscue from this unit came in the third quarter when Kluwe had trouble with a low snap from Cullen Loeffler and Longwell missed a point-after attempt. That left the Vikings trailing 13-12 at the time and could have been extremely costly.

COACHING: B — Brad Childress and special teams coordinator deserve some of the credit for keeping the always dangerous Devin Hester in check on special teams. The Vikings defensive staff, led by coordinator Leslie Frazier, made life miserable for Bears quarterback Kyle Orton with pressure that resulted in only one sack but plenty of hurried passes. Childress and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell did a good job of sticking with the game plan even when the offense struggled. The Vikings ran the ball 34 times and threw it 29 as Minnesota finished with 372 total net yards.



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