Amazing disgrace: Favre, Vikings humble Bears in dome
Brett Favre took Chicago to school Sunday and made the Bears cry uncle on their season.
“Our chances at the playoffs are pretty thin,” said receiver Devin Hester, who was held to one catch for 20 yards in Chicago’s 36-10 loss to Minnesota. “Now we just have to try to finish out the season as men and not drop our heads.”
The Bears (4-7) held their former nemesis Adrian Peterson to 85 yards on 25 carries and two fumbles, but still couldn’t come close in losing for the sixth time in seven games.
“We wanted to stop Adrian and take our chances and see if Brett Favre could beat us. And he did,” defensive end Alex Brown said.
The NFL’s all-time leading passer beat the Bears so badly — throwing for 392 yards and three touchdowns — he made one Bear feel like a child.
“They got a daddy in the backfield,” defensive tackle Tommie Harris said of Favre, who equaled his NFL-leading 112 passer rating Sunday. “I felt like a little kid out there with a daddy just beating us up.”
The Vikings (10-1) outgained the Bears 130 yards to 18 in the first quarter, yet Chicago escaped with a scoreless tie when rookie safety Al Afalava sacked Favre for a 14-yard loss on the final play of the quarter. But Favre then threw a 15-yard TD to rookie Percy Harvin on the first play of the second quarter.
The Bears tied it at 7 on an all-pass 54-yard drive after a Danieal Manning 44-yard kickoff return. Jay Cutler hit Johnny Knox from 24 yards out for the tie.
But Favre threw a 10-yard strike to backup running back Chester Taylor for Minnesota’s second consecutive touchdown and Ryan Longwell kicked a 52-yard field goal after Knox fumbled away the ensuing kickoff.
The Bears had two chances to make it a 3-point game, but Jay Cutler threw his NFL-leading 19th and 20th interceptions in the last three minutes of the half. Cedric Griffith intercepted Cutler when he audibled out of a run play in the end zone on second-and-3 from the 22. Then, after a Chicago defensive stop, linebacker E.J. Henderson broke up a pass to Earl Bennett on second-and-2 from the 37 and Jared Allen grabbed the deflection.
Favre then drove the Vikings 70 yards in 40 seconds, throwing a 6-yard TD to tight end Visanthe Shiancoe for a 24-7 halftime lead.
“We didn’t play up to our standards,” said Cutler, who completed 18 of 23 passes for 147 yards and a 71.6 rating. “We missed opportunities that whole game. We’ve missed opportunities this whole season.”
Chicago’s last opportunity was after Knox returned the second-half kickoff 77 yards to the Minnesota 8. But Matt Forte gained 0 yards on first down and Cutler was sacked twice as the Bears settled for a field goal.
The Vikings went on to outgain Chicago 156 yards to 2 in the third period and 537 yards to 169 for the game.
Percy Harvin (101 yards receiving, 45 rushing), Sidney Rice (89 yards receiving), Bernard Berrian (74 yards receiving) and Favre (32 of 48) all had big games, and three other players had more than 50 yards for a team that converted 12 of 18 third downs.
“This is the most explosive offense I’ve seen in my entire life,” Shiancoe said. “It seems like everyone is getting open. Everyone is getting a piece of this pie.”
There’s no dessert for Chicago. Only glum reality.
“We feel like crap today, no way around it,” coach Lovie Smith said. “But, you know, the sun normally comes up. I assume it will come up tomorrow.
“We’re men. Men go through tough times sometimes. And that’s where we are right now.”
The sun may come up, but playoff talk won’t. That’s now finally dead.
“Pride is going to become an issue here shortly,” said Alex Brown, who injured his leg in the second half. “We’re going to see who wants to play when there is nothing to play for besides going to play the game.”
Assistant sports editor Matt Trowbridge can be reached at 815-987-1383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.