Grading the game: Bears

The Vikings dominated the scoreboard, but they weren't without some mistakes Sunday against the Bears. Penalties, fumbles and big plays allowed on special teams could have hurt them against a better team. Those miscues gave some balance to an otherwise solid performance.

PASSING OFFENSE: A-minus — Brett Favre seems to get better each week as he makes his case to be league MVP at the age of 40. Favre's latest masterpiece was a season-high 392-yard passing performance in which he completed 32 of 48 passes with three touchdowns and no interceptions in a 36-10 victory over Chicago. Favre threw so often because the Bears weren't about to let Adrian Peterson have another huge day against them — the running back had 554 yards rushing and eight touchdowns in four career games versus Chicago — and did everything in their power to stop the run. Problem is Favre is carving up teams for putting their focus on Peterson. Rookie wide receiver Percy Harvin showed just how dangerous he could be, catching six passes for a season-high 101 yards with a touchdown. Running back Chester Taylor and Visanthe Shiancoe also had touchdown catches as Favre completed five or more passes to five different receivers, the first time that has been done in franchise history.

RUSHING OFFENSE: B-minus — Peterson was "held" to 85 yards on 25 carries, a 3.4-yard average, as the Vikings rushed for 159 yards on 34 attempts as a team. Harvin had the biggest run with a 35-yard pickup on a second-quarter attempt. Perhaps the most troublesome thing for the Vikings was that Peterson fumbled the ball twice, losing one of them. A second fumble that appeared to be lost was overturned on review. Still, Peterson has lost five of six fumbles this season after having an NFL-high nine fumbles in 2008. Peterson, who dealt with a sore ankle and an illness that slowed him last week, might be the best running back in the NFL but his struggles to hold onto the ball have to be a major concern for a team that needs him to be reliable in the postseason. Taylor finished with an impressive 8.3-yard rushing average, gaining 33 yards on only four carries.

PASS DEFENSE: B-plus — The Vikings added to Jay Cutler's season-long misery by picking him off twice in the first half — cornerback Cedric Griffin's diving interception in the end zone stopped an impressive Bears drive in the second quarter that could have pulled Chicago within 3 points — but it was in the second half that Minnesota turned the Chicago offense into a non-factor. With Pro Bowl cornerback Antoine Winfield out for a fifth consecutive game because of a broken foot, Cutler completed 16 of 20 passes for 141 yards with a touchdown in the opening half. In the second half, Cutler completed only two more passes for 6 yards. In fact, the Bears ran only 12 plays and gained 2 net yards total in the final two quarters. The Vikings finished with four sacks, including two by defensive end Jared Allen and one each by defensive end Ray Edwards and nose tackle Pat Williams.

RUSH DEFENSE: A — The Vikings appear to have regained the form that made them the NFL's top run defense the past three seasons. After the Vikings gave up a ridiculously low 4 yards rushing in a 35-9 victory over Seattle, they held the Bears to 43 yards on 11 rushing attempts. Chicago's longest run of the day was an 8-yard scramble by Cutler. Running back Matt Forte had 27 yards on eight attempts as tackles Pat and Kevin Williams and Co. made it extremely hard for Chicago to move the ball on the ground.

SPECIAL TEAMS: B-minus — Ryan Longwell made field goals from 52, 37 and 20 yards to lead the special teams, but the Vikings' kickoff coverage left something to be desired. A unit that has been very sound this season gave up returns of 77 yards to Johnny Knox to begin the third quarter and 44 yards to Danieal Manning in the second quarter. The Vikings did make a nice play in the second quarter after Knox had a 32-yard return following the Vikings' second touchdown. Before Knox was down, the Vikings' Eric Frampton forced a fumble and Heath Farwell recovered at the Bears 31. The Vikings got a field goal out of the turnover to take a 17-7 lead. Harvin, a dynamic kick returner, did not get to run one back because Chicago's Robbie Gould booted two for touchbacks and kicked another short so Harvin couldn't get his hands on it.

COACHING: B — The coaching staff deserves credit for recognizing the Bears were going to do everything in their power to stop Peterson. Childress and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell took advantage by enabling Favre to make the most of the man coverage he saw and the Vikings were again off and running. The Vikings ended up running a season-high 83 offensive plays and accumulated a total of 537 yards, the most since Brad Childress took over as coach in 2006.

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