Notebook: Hesitant of Hester

The Vikings had a strategy of keeping the ball out of returner Devin Hester's hands and were determined to stick with it, for better or worse. It turned out to be worse. Plus, get Gus Frerotte's take on the offense and other player comments and notes.

The Vikings were apparently so terrified of Devin Hester's ability to return kicks that they even opted to squib kick following their first touchdown. What did that do? It allowed the Bears to start at their own 46-yard line with Jason McKie returning the short kick 18 yards. Five plays later, the Bears had tied the game at 7-7.

McKie returned the Vikings' next short kickoff to the 48-yard line with a 20-yard return, and just before the half, the Bears' Adrian Peterson gave his team field position on the 41-yard line with a return of another short kick.

Bears QB Kyle Orton's comments on the situation are sure to raise the ire of Vikings fans who are questioning coaching decisions at every opportunity.

"I'm sure we would have sat on it if they kicked it deep. But they kicked it short, we got good field position, we thought we'd give one play a try," Orton said of the Bears' pre-halftime strategy.

With those three prime starting locations following short kicks, the Bears scored a touchdown and two field goals, all in the name of keeping the ball away from Hester.

"We didn't want him to be a factor … I made a decision not to kick the ball to him," Childress said.

The Vikings would have been better off kicking the ball out of bounds and giving it to the Bears at the 40-yard line if they were that concerned with Hester, whose averages were down this year. He came into the game averaging only 22.6 yards on kickoff returns and 5.4 yards on punt returns.

The Bears didn't have any punt returns, blocking Minnesota's only punt attempt, and Hester averaged 18 yards the two times the Vikings did kick off to him deep. The last time he was knocked out of the game with a left quad injury.

The Vikings' special teams woes didn't end when they were kicking the ball. Punt returner Charles Gordon decided to let a Chicago punt hit the ground in hopes that it would bounce into the end zone. When Gordon went to block Bears gunner Zack Bowman, the ball kicked back, bounced off of Gordon and was recovered in the end zone for a Chicago touchdown.

"It was an aggressive mistake," Childress said. "Chuck Gordon is a sure-handed guy back there. That's a football bounce. He was trying to block the gunner. He gives up that right if he signals for a fair catch. He was trying to take that gunner off the ball. Unfortunately, that ball took a football bounce and the net result was a touchdown."


The Vikings entered Sunday's game with an even mark in the takeaway/giveaway ratio. They ended the day minus-4. Each team fumbled the ball twice and lost one of them, but Gus Frerotte threw four interceptions while Orton left without a pick.

"For me, personally, it was tough. Four interceptions, it's hard when you do that. But we still put 41 points on the board," Frerotte said. "When we watch the film, there are a lot of good things that will come out of it. But for me, this loss is tough. The guys fought really hard on offense and we did a lot of great things. We were in a position where we had to throw the ball down field and sometimes things like this happen."

Two special teams mistakes also led to two touchdowns for the Bears, but Frerotte was hopeful that the offense was coming around.

"In an environment like this, you can't have turnovers. We keep killing ourselves. But, we can take a lot from this game. We put up over 400 yards on a pretty good defense … and 41 points," he said. "I really feel like the offense is starting to hit its stride."


The Vikings deactivated QB John David Booty (third QB), S Madieu Williams, CB Benny Sapp, LB David Herron, T Marcus Johnson, DE Otis Grigsby, FB Jeff Dugan and DT Letroy Guion.

The Bears' inactives were QB Caleb Hanie (third QB), CB Nathan Vasher, CB Charles Tillman, S Danieal Manning, LB Nick Roach, T Chris Williams, DT Matt Toeaina and WR Brandon Lloyd.


Vikings defensive end Jared Allen on erasing the loss and coming back after the bye week: "We'll just Etch-a-Sketch this. We'll shake that out and clean the page, and we'll get right back to work in two weeks."

Bears WR Marty Booker on Chicago's effective no-huddle offense: "It's all a matter of getting in a rhythm. Getting a couple of good throws earlier and using the no-huddle on the first drive helped out a lot. Today it kept Minnesota off balance, and once we get in a rhythm I don't think anybody can stop us."

Former Vikings running back Mewelde Moore rushed for 120 yards in the Pittsburgh Steelers' win over Cincinnati. He also had three touchdowns.

Former Vikings quarterback Brad Johnson threw three interceptions in the Dallas Cowboys' loss to the St. Louis Rams. Johnson started in place of an injured Tony Romo.

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