Minnesota Vikings 10-20 Chicago Bears
Last Updated: 01/11/16 12:12pm
Jordan Howard chalked up 202 yards and scored a touchdown as the Chicago Bears upset NFC leaders Minnesota Vikings 20-10.
In 140 characters...
Howard dominates and Bears defence shuts down Bradford in NFC North surprise. Cutler makes steady return but real winner here is Green Bay.
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Jordan Howard ran for 69 yards on the Bears' third play of the night, and no one could stop him from there. He had 39 on a short shovel pass and became the youngest player in franchise history to have 200 yards from the line of scrimmage.
Credit should also go to quarterback Jay Cutler, whose performance was much better than the stats indicate. Returning to the starting line-up following Brian Hoyer's broken arm, Cutler made his 100th start for the franchise, managing the game well and finding targets under pressure.
On 3rd and 5 at the start of the third quarter, with the Bears leading 13-3, Cutler found Alshon Jeffery on the right hand side, over the head of cornerback Xavier Rhodes for a 34-yard gain. Jeffery went on to score his first touchdown of the season, and the drive took the wind out of any potential Minnesota fightback.
Stat of the night
403 - The top ranked defensive side so far this year gave up 403 yards to a Bears side who are the worst ranked in scoring. That's the most yards Minnesota have given up all season.
|MIN 0-3 CHI||FG - C. Barth 30yd|
|MIN 0-6 CHI||FG - C. Barth 28yd|
|MIN 0-13 CHI||TD - J. Howard 2yd run||Extra Point - C. Barth|
|MIN 3-13 CHI||FG - B. Walsh 30yd|
|MIN 3-20 CHI||TD - A. Jeffery 1 yd pass - J. Cutler||Extra Point - C. Barth|
|MIN 3-20 CHI||TD - S. Diggs 25yd pass - S. Bradford||Extra Point - B. Walsh|
It was a blistering start for Bears running back Howard, who escaped a gaggle of defenders on Chicago's first drive to sprint 69 yards and set up an early field goal.
The Bears doubled their lead in the second quarter as Howard's 34-yard catch and run set up a Connor Barth 28-yard field goal.
On their next drive, with excellent field position to start, Cutler lead a 43-yard drive to set up Howard for a two-yard touchdown, and extend the lead to 13-0.
Minnesota failed to register a first down until their last drive of the half, when Blair Walsh got the visitors on the board with a 30-yard field goal. It could have been worse for the Vikings, who fumbled twice on the drive, including the punt return. Credit goes to the Bears defence who gave Sam Bradford a torrid time, registering five sacks and six hits on the Vikings QB.
On the opening drive of the second half, Jeffery converted the Bears second touchdown of the night as he caught an 11 yard pass from Cutler, cutting in from the left to beat first round rookie corner Trae Waynes to the catch.
It wasn't until the end of the fourth quarter that Minnesota found the end zone, Bradford connecting with Stefon Diggs for a 25-yard pass with five minutes to go. The Bears wound down the clock to get only their second win of the season, and a surprise upset in the NFC North.
The result is good news for the Green Bay Packers, who lost 33-32 to the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday, but remain just one game back. The Bears are still way off the pace, but a positive performance from Howard and the defence, as well as Jeffery's first score of the season, will be a welcome sight for head coach John Fox.