Grading the game: Bears

In a game in which the Vikings put up some impressive yardage numbers, they also gave up too much on defense and made some big blunders on special teams. The grades reflect the uneven nature of the game.

PASSING OFFENSE: C — Gus Frerotte threw for 298 yards and two touchdowns but he also threw four interceptions, one off his career high. The first three were intended for Bernard Berrian and the final one came on a desperation pass to Aundrae Allison late in the game. Frerotte completed 25 of 40 passes, including six to Berrian and six to running back Chester Taylor. Berrian had a game-high 81 yards receiving in his first game back at Soldier Field after signing as a free agent with the Vikings during the offseason. He caught a 5-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe had a 24-yard scoring reception. The Vikings and Frerotte were aided by the fact the Bears were without starting cornerbacks Charles Tillman and Nathan Vasher as well as nickel back Danieal Manning.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B — Adrian Peterson did not duplicate the 224-yard effort he had last season at Soldier Field but he was still solid. After losing three fumbles in the past three games, Peterson did not turn over the ball and rushed for 121 yards on 22 carries (a 5.5 average) and had touchdown runs of 1 and 54 yards. Right guard Anthony Herrera threw a key block on Peterson's long run, which came in the third quarter. Chester Taylor contributed 34 yards on 10 carries as the Vikings managed to put up 439 yards of total offense.

PASS DEFENSE: C — The Bears used a familiar look against the Vikings, coming out in a no-huddle look with multiple-receiver sets that often included tight ends. The no-huddle is something teams used frequently against the Vikings in 2006 and at times last season to exploit a pass defense that has finished at the bottom of the league the last two years. Bears quarterback Kyle Orton threw for 283 yards (21 of 32) with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Orton was especially effective going to tight end Greg Olsen, who caught six passes for 74 yards and a touchdown. Vikings linebackers struggled to cover Olsen, who has good hands. Marty Booker had a 51-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter when Orton took advantage of the fact the receiver somehow ended up matched against defensive end Jared Allen. Booker caught a short pass, made a curl-in move and almost used Allen as a screen before racing toward the end zone. As has frequently been the case this season, Orton seemed to spend plenty of time going after Vikings right cornerback Cedric Griffin.

RUSH DEFENSE: B-plus — As is usually the case, this unit was very good throughout Sunday's game. Chicago had only 53 yards on 22 carries (a 2.4 average). Matt Forte was the Bears' leading rusher with 56 yards on 20 carries, but his longest gain of the day was only 8 yards. The performance was a testament to the continued steady play of Pro Bowl defensive tackles Kevin and Pat Williams, who combined for five tackles. Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen finished the game with four tackles for loss and also forced a fumble.

SPECIAL TEAMS: F — Things couldn't have been much worse. Chris Kluwe, obviously over-thinking the fact he was supposed to punt away from Devin Hester, dropped a first-quarter snap, then had his punt attempt blocked. It got worse when Kluwe tried to kick the ball when it hit the ground for a second time. He ended up putting it into the hands of Garrett Wolfe, who returned it 17 yards for a touchdown to give the Bears a 14-7 lead. In the second quarter, punt returner Charles Gordon attempted to block the Bears' Zack Bowman near the end zone so Bowman could not down the ball at the Vikings 1-yard line. But the ball bounced, hit Gordon and then bounded into the end zone as Bowman recovered it for a touchdown. Then there was the encroachment call on the Vikings' Fred Evans near the end of the first half right before Bears kicker Robbie Gould attempted to make the first 50-yard plus field goal of his career. That meant Gould's field-goal attempt was 48 yards and, of course, he nailed it to give the Bears a 27-24 halftime lead. Kicker Ryan Longwell made two field goals (42 and 23 yards) and the Vikings blocked a Robbie Gould field goal attempt but it wasn't nearly enough to make up for the mistakes.

COACHING: C-minus — The special teams issues did not all lie with the players. The coaching staff had punter Chris Kluwe thinking way too much because they were so afraid the Bears' Devin Hester might get a big punt or kick return. But Hester has not been a great return man this season and hasn't run either a kick or punt back for a touchdown. Kicker Ryan Longwell also was instructed to avoid Hester and because of that the Bears' first two drives started at their 46- and 48-yard lines. The Bears got 10 points out of this and eventually coach Brad Childress decided to allow Longwell to boot the ball downfield. Childress also had a couple of interesting fourth-down calls. With the Vikings trailing 34-31 in the third quarter, they faced a fourth-and-1 at the Chicago 36. Instead of having Adrian Peterson run the ball, Gus Frerotte dropped back to pass, rolled right and threw a pass too low for Bernard Berrian to catch. In the fourth quarter with the Vikings down 48-31, Minnesota had a fourth-and-3 at the Chicago 5-yard line. It could have been argued the Vikings should have gone for the touchdown because getting two touchdowns and a late field goal would be easier than getting a field goal and then trying to get two more touchdowns. Childress, though, elected to take the points and have Longwell kick a 23-yard field goal.

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