Snowed: Vikings Get Thumped By Bears, 40-14

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Vikings Get Crushed By Bears, 40-14

(Sports Network) – Jay Cutler threw three touchdown passes to help the Chicago Bears clinch the NFC North with a 40-14 pasting of the Vikings in their first outdoor home game in 29 years.

Chicago (10-4) clinched its division for the first time since 2006, when the Bears eventually lost to Indianapolis in the Super Bowl, thanks to the win and Green Bay’s loss to New England on Sunday night. Chicago is the first team in the NFL to wrap up its division.

Several other stories cropped up during the game, including the injury of Minnesota quarterback Brett Favre and Chicago’s Devin Hester setting an NFL record for combined kickoff and punt return touchdowns.

Favre was not expected to play but was upgraded to questionable on Monday, then given the go-ahead to start. He missed last week’s loss to the Giants, ending his record for consecutive starts at 297.

But he didn’t finish the game against Chicago. In the second quarter, Favre dropped back to pass and was wrapped up by lineman Corey Wootton, who slammed the quarterback to the ground for his first NFL sack.

Favre landed on his left shoulder while his head bounced off the frozen ground.

Medical staff came out, but Favre walked off the field under his own power before Minnesota punted the ball. Rookie Joe Webb finished the game under center for the Vikings.

Hester came into the game with 13 touchdowns on kickoff and punt returns. In the third quarter, he fielded a punt and ran down the right sideline 64 yards into the end zone for No. 14, which broke the record he shared with Brian Mitchell.

It was Hester’s 10th career punt return for a touchdown, tying a record set by Eric Metcalf.

The first outdoor game in Minnesota since December 20, 1981 happened because the Metrodome is still undergoing repairs after the roof collapsed last week due to a heavy snowstorm.

Minnesota played last week at Detroit’s Ford Field, while this game was held at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium.

It snowed lightly throughout the contest, while the game-time temperature was 19 degrees — with the wind chill bringing that figure down to nine degrees.


Chicago Bears 40, Minnesota Vikings 14 - Yawn

Yep, the Bears scored again. . .another field goal by Robbie Gould.

Yes, this game has become every bit as exciting as I’ve just made it sound. Thankfully, there are only about seven minutes left before it’s over.

With seven minutes left in the football game, the Bears lead the Vikings 40-14.


Chicago Bears 37, Minnesota Vikings 14 - Just Make The Hurting Stop

The Vikings had another three and out, and the Bears capitalized on it again.

Minnesota was lucky to not give up another touchdown, as Jay Cutler threw a third-down pass just slightly behind Johnny Knox that allowed Frank Walker to get a hand in and break it up. The Bears did convert a 34-yard field goal by Robbie Gould, though, to increase their lead to 23.

With thirty seconds left in the third quarter, the Vikings trail the Bears 37-14. Lorenzo Booker has just gotten a nice kickoff return into Chicago territory. We’ll see if the Vikings can do anything with it.


Chicago Bears 34, Minnesota Vikings 14 - Vikings Defense Gets Shredded

The Vikings allowed another huge kickoff return, and the Bears capitalized on it again.

Daniel Manning. . .apparently getting a turn because Devin Hester was tired or something. . .returned the Ryan Longwell kickoff to the Bears’ 40-yard line, and Chicago made it look easy from there. Jay Cutler’s third touchdown pass of the night came on a strike over the middle to Rashied Davis, and the Bears moved their lead back to 20.

With 5:16 left in a third quarter that seems to have gone on forever, the Bears lead the Vikings 34-14.


Chicago Bears 27, Minnesota Vikings 14 - Joe Webb Gets Into The End Zone

Joe Webb might not be doing much as a passer right now, but he just showed that he’s got all the athleticism you could possibly want.

The Vikings got a big interference call against Bears’ safety Major Wright to move the ball into Chicago territory. After a completion to Percy Harvin and a short gain by Toby Gerhart, Webb faked a give to Toby, rolled out to the right, and simply took off for the end zone. He beat a couple of Bears to the pylon, and registered his first touchdown as an NFL player.

The run was officially 13 yards.

With 9:47 left in the third quarter, the Vikings are kicking. . .sort of. . .as they trail 27-14.


Chicago Bears 27, Minnesota Vikings 7 - History Delayed, Not Denied

You know that whole thing I said about the Vikings keeping Devin Hester from that return touchdown record?

Yeah. . .let’s just forget I said that.

The Vikings went three-and-out on their first offensive series of the third quarter, and proceeded to punt to Devin Hester. Hester took the line drive off of the foot of Chris Kluwe and went, literally, untouched down the right sideline for a 64-yard punt return touchdown. There was a penalty flag on the play, but it was an illegal motion call against the Vikings.

The Vikings trail the Bears, 27-7, with 12:06 left in the second quarter, as the NFC North’s best team is 27 minutes away from locking up the NFC North division championship and moving themselves into the #2 seed in the NFC.


Chicago Bears 20, Minnesota Vikings 7 - Vikings Prevent History

The Vikings nearly got themselves off to a disastrous start to the second half, as Devin Hester actually got his hands on the football. Hester took the opening kickoff of the second half and returned in 79 yards to the Minnesota 6-yard line, but the Vikings kept him out of the end zone. A touchdown would have allowed Hester to take sole possession of the all-time NFL record for kick and punt return touchdowns.

The Vikings’ defense held firm, though, keeping the Bears to a 23-yard Robbie Gould field goal.

Less than a minute into the second half, and the Vikings trail the Chicago Bears by a score of 20-7.


Brett Favre Doubtful With Head Injury - Webb In At Quarterback

On the Vikings’ final offensive play of their previous drive, Brett Favre was sacked by Corey Wootton and slammed his head hard on the TCF Bank Stadium turf. He needed help to get off of the field, and has been ruled as doubtful to return with a “head injury.”

That’s just fancy talk for “concussion.” He’s not coming back tonight.

For better or worse, it looks like the Joe Webb era is getting its start tonight in Minnesota after all.


Chicago Bears 17, Minnesota Vikings 7 - Bears Making It Look Easy

The Vikings are starting to fall apart on both sides of the ball.

After another short, out-of-bounds punt from Chris Kluwe, the Bears took over at their own 30-yard line, and moved the ball downfield with shockingly little resistance from the Minnesota defense. The drive concluded with a 15-yard touchdown pass from Jay Cutler to Devin Hester, who had cornerback Frank Walker beaten by three yards.

This one is coming unraveled quickly, ladies and gentlemen.

With 6:54 left before halftime, the Bears have taken a 17-7 lead over the Minnesota Vikings.


Chicago Bears 10, Minnesota Vikings 7 - That Was Awful

The Bears forced a punt from the Vikings after center John Sullivan had another bad snap out of the shotgun formation that went over the head of Brett Favre. After a couple of penalties on the Bears made it first and 30, the inexplicable happened.

Jay Cutler dropped back to pass, and found Johnny Knox from 67 yards out. I have no idea how he got the ball there, largely because I have no idea what in the heck Madieu Williams was doing on the play. Of course, I’ve said that a lot of times about Madieu this year.

Any early momentum the Vikings had is gone, and the Bears now have a 10-7 lead with 1:55 left in the first quarter.


Minnesota Vikings 7, Chicago Bears 3 - Bears Take Advantage Of Turnover

The Vikings have turned the ball over yet again deep in their own territory, and the Bears made them pay for it.

Favre dropped back to pass on a third down and four, looking to set up a screen to Toby Gerhart. Unfortunately, he couldn’t get the pass over the outstretched arms of Henry Melton, and he deflected the pass high into the air. Bears’ defensive end Julius Peppers came down with the pass, and the Bears started at the Vikings’ 14-yard line.

However, the Bears only generated a couple of yards of offense, and had to settle for a 28-yard Robbie Gould field goal instead of getting a touchdown.

With a little more than five minutes remaining in the first quarter, the Vikings lead the Bears by a score of 7-3 at TCF Bank Stadium.


Minnesota Vikings 7, Chicago Bears 0 - Vikings Generate Outstanding Opening Drive

Behind the power running of Toby Gerhart and the skills of Percy Harvin, the Vikings have gotten on the board first at TCF Bank Stadium.

Gerhart toted the ball four times for 26 yards on the drive, including a big third down carry where he bounced off of Julius Peppers and gained a first down for the Vikings, and Brett Favre only had to throw two passes on the drive. They both went to the returning Percy Harvin, and they went for a total of 34 yards. The touchdown came on a play where the Bears jumped offside, Favre swung it to Harvin on the left side, and Percy broke a couple tackles en route to a 23-yard score.

The drive covered 60 yards in six plays, taking 3:38 off of the clock to do it.

The Bears are driving on their first possession, but with nine minutes left in the first quarter, the Vikings have an early 7-0 lead.


Chicago Bears Inactives - No Desmond Clark For Chicago

We’ve finally managed to get our hands on Chicago’s inactive list, too. Tight end Desmond Clark, who has had his share of success against the Vikings in the past, is not active for the Bears this evening.

The full inactive list for the Bears looks like this:

RB Kahlil Bell
TE Desmond Clark
QB Caleb Hanie (#3 QB)
DL Marcus Harrison
OT Herman Johnson
CB Joshua Moore
LB Pisa Tinoisamoa
FB Eddie Williams

Outside of Clark and Tinoisamoa, Chicago doesn’t appear to have any major pieces missing or anything like that.


Brett Favre Starting For Vikings; Adrian Peterson Out

Brett Favre, fresh off of being ruled out earlier in the week which caused the Minnesota Vikings to name Joe Webb the team’s starter as well as sign Patrick Ramsey as insurance, has been made active and will start against the Chicago Bears in the Vikings Monday Night Football game tonight at TCF Bank Stadium.

Favre missed his first start in 297 games last week, but apparently woke up feeling “much improved” today and threw the football around pregame in an attempt to make sure his body could handle the cold, snowy conditions that will be present for the Vikings first outdoor home game in 29 years.

In anoher surprise move, the Vikings have ruled running back Adrian Peterson out. Peterson, who bumped knees with Tarvaris Jackson in last week’s game, missed Thursday’s practice but was expected to get the start tonight.


Minnesota Vikings Inactives - Adrian Peterson OUT For Vikings, Brett Favre IN

Well, millions of fantasy football players have commenced to throwing things around their homes or offices or wherever they might be right now, because the Minnesota Vikings have deactivated running back Adrian Peterson for tonight’s game against Chicago with knee and ankle injuries.

Brett Favre, who hasn’t thrown a pass to a teammate all week, is active and will start for the Vikings tonight.

Here’s the Vikings’ entire inactive list. We’ll have the Bears inactives here shortly.

QB R.J. Archer
S Tyrell Johnson
DT Jimmy Kennedy
WR Greg Lewis
RB Adrian Peterson
QB Patrick Ramsey
S Jamarca Sanford
OL Thomas Welch

I assume that Ramsey is the #3 quarterback, but nobody has specified anything anywhere.


Your Friendly SB Nation Minnesota Weather Update For TCF Bank Stadium

UPDATE at 4:35 PM Central time: A snow emergency has been declared in Minneapolis. Yep, things are going to continue to degrade. Continue staying safe out there, folks!

It's a little less than four hours before kickoff at TCF Bank Stadium between the Chicago Bears and the Minnesota Vikings for Monday night football. If you're going to the game and you're reading this. . .well, let's just say that it might be in your best interests to start trundling in the direction of the stadium as early as you possibly can.

From all accounts, the roads in Minneapolis range anywhere from "slow going" to "a parking lot" at this point. Intrepid weather correspondent/SB Nation Minnesota hockey expert Bryan Reynolds reported this via the magic of Twitter at approximately 3:30 PM Central time.

Let me rephrase. The entire Twin Cities area is a parking lot.less than a minute ago via txt

The "parking lot" had been reserved for just St. Paul in an earlier tweet, but has apparently been extended to include the greater Twin Cities metropolitan area.

The reason that someone has, apparently, paved paradise and put up a parking lot? Well, because it's snowing like heck in the Twin Cities right now. According to our good friends at Accuweather, it's currently 20 degrees with snow and freezing fog in Minneapolis, with winds coming from the east-southeast at 15 miles per hour, making it feel as though the temperatures are closer to about three degrees above zero.

It's only going to get colder as the evening progresses. By the time we reach kickoff, the temperatures will have dropped a couple of degrees and the winds will have increased a bit, giving us a "Real Feel" of exactly zero degrees Fahrenheit. The Twin Cities are also under a winter storm warning until 6:00 AM tomorrow, and the snow is not going to stop any time soon.

We here at SB Nation Minnesota want to see as big a crowd out there tonight for the game as possible, but please be safe in getting there and getting home. Not everybody drives with anything even resembling common sense, so keep vigilant on the roads of Minneapolis, St. Paul, or whichever suburb it is that you might be coming from this evening. And, for crying out loud, keep warm out there tonight as well by whatever means you have available.


Brett Favre UPGRADED From Out To Questionable; May Play Tonight

From the “I absolutely, positively can not believe that this crap is happening” file, we get news from Chip Scoggins of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune that Vikings’ quarterback Brett Favre. . .he who was ruled out on Saturday. . .has been upgraded to “questionable” for this evening’s game against the Chicago Bears, and will throw a couple of hours before game time to see if he can start tonight.

I can’t believe this. . .after getting Joe Webb ready all week for his first-ever NFL start, the Vikings are actually going to try to roll Brett Favre out there in a meaningless game for a team that he’s not going to be quarterbacking next year on a surface that may or may not be safe when he’s clearly not 100%.

Absolutely unbelievable. I know that I, for one, will be livid if the Vikings’ first snap of tonight’s game is taken by Brett Favre and not by Joe Webb.

We’re discussing all of this over at The Daily Norseman. Join us, won’t you?


Kluwe Declares TCF Bank Stadium Surface "Unplayable"

Any Vikings fan with a Twitter account knows that if you want to get a good chuckle throughout the course of your day, the guy to follow is @ChrisWarcraft. . .the handle for Minnesota punter Chris Kluwe. Kluwe has never been one to mince his words either, and he displayed as much again after the Vikings had a walkthrough at TCF Bank Stadium this morning.

A couple of hours ago, the following series of "tweets" came from the man that wears number 5.

Serious time - All respect to the people that cleared the field and got it ready, you did an amazing job. That being said, it's unplayable.

The field is as hard as concrete an hour and a half after they took the tarp off, and anyone that hits their head is getting a concussion.

I find it interesting that the NFL can claim an emphasis on player safety, and then tell us the field is fine. It's beyond hypocritical.

I can only hope, however unlikely, that no one gets catastrophically injured at the trainwreck that's about to take place tomorrow night.

To everyone - that was a totally serious post on the field conditions. It is like walking on concrete. They took the tarp off at the same time they'll take it off before the game. The problem isn't heating it, it's retaining that heat.

Looks like things could potentially get a little ugly at The Bank tomorrow night, ladies and gentlemen.

Just hope that the NFL isn't in the business of fining people for what they say on Twitter. #exceptforchadochocinco #that'sokaybecausehe'snotaviking

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