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Morning Box Score: Bears Defeat Vikings, Favre

By Benjy Lipsman in News on Nov 15, 2010 4:00PM

Throughout the first half of the season, the Bears were nearly as painful to watch in their five wins as they were in their three losses. Opening up the second half of the season yesterday against the Minnesota Vikings, the Bears controlled all aspects of the game, with strong performances on offense, defense and special teams. Playing their first complete game of the season, the Bears won 27-13 in what was likely Brett Favre's final game in Chicago.

Mike Martz returned to a balanced offensive attack and stuck with it throughout the game. The Bears ran the ball 38 times, with the tandem of Matt Forte and Chester Taylor combining for 104 yards. The balanced attack helped keep the Vikings defense honest, as they managed just one sack of Jay Cutler, who completed 22 of 35 passes for 237 yards and three touchdowns. He did throw two picks to Husain Abdullah, including one in the end zone, however. Cutler's favorite target on the day was Johnny Knox, who caught five passes for 90 yards. More instrumental to finding the end zone was Mike Martz's sudden discovery that his tight ends can catch. Greg Olsen and Kellen Davis each caught TD passes. Devin Hester also added a 19-yard touchdown catch.

Hester seemed to be everywhere yesterday. In addition to his offensive contributions, Hester also returned kickoffs for the first time this season. Why did Lovie Smith wait so long? Hester racked up almost 150 return yards, including kickoff returns of 68 and 32 yards, as well as a 42 yard punt return. The Bears won the field position battle all day.

On defense, the Bears shut down both Brett Favre and Adrian Peterson, who have both embarrassed the team in previous meetings. Coming off a career game last week, the Bears held Favre to just 170 yards through the air and one touchdown, while the Bears picked him off three times. Peterson, the league's second leading rusher, managed just 51 yards on the ground Sunday. After their first two possessions went 11 and 10 plays (resulting in a total of three points), the Vikings didn't manage another drive of more than 5 plays until the final one of the game.

Sunday's win ties the Bear atop the NFC North with the Packers, but thanks to their week three win, the Bears hold the tie breaker. The Bears are also 3-0 against their divisional foes. With a tough schedule coming up, can they hold onto the "Black & Blue" division lead or will they fade through the second half as they face tougher competition? Until Sunday's game, we figured they'd win two more all season. Maybe they can win a few more and fight for the division title. Coming off their strong performance against the Vikings, the Bears have a short week of practice before heading to Miami for a Thursday night prime time match-up against the Dolphins, who lost their top two QBs on Sunday (NFL Network, WGN Ch. 9 / WBBM 780-AM).