Friday, July 31, 2015

Vikings dumped by Bears

CHICAGO—The Chicago Bears got Jay Cutler back from a concussion—only to lose three more stars to injuries.
Start with Devin Hester. Add Matt Forte and Charles Tillman to the list, and just for good measure, throw in two starting guards.

Consider this a painful win.
Cutler threw for 188 yards and a touchdown after missing a game as the Bears broke it open early in a 28-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings yesterday.
The injuries, however, tempered some of the good feelings.
Tied with Green Bay for the NFC North lead and just a game ahead of Minnesota (6-5) coming in, the Bears (8-3) grabbed a 25-3 halftime lead thanks to Cutler’s pinpoint passing.
The defence held Adrian Peterson in check early on, although he finished with 108 yards rushing.
Chicago also came away with three more takeaways to increase its total from a league-leading 30 entering the game to 33.
The rather easy win came after back-to-back losses to Houston and San Francisco, but it also came with a heavy price.
The Bears lost Hester, a receiver and record-setting return specialist, early to a concussion. And that was just the start.
Forte, their top running back, hobbled to the tunnel midway through the third quarter with an ankle injury. Bears’ coach Lovie Smith said Tillman, their star cornerback, also hurt his ankle.
Besides those three, the Bears lost both guards in the third quarter to knee sprains, with Lance Louis and Chris Spencer going down.
As for Cutler, he looked sharp after missing Monday’s blowout loss at San Francisco.
Back after being knocked out of the Texans’ game on a helmet-to-helmet hit by Tim Dobbins, he got off to a scorching start and completed 23-of-31 passes with an interception to go with his TD.
Brandon Marshall, meanwhile, caught 12 passes for 92 yards and became the first Bears’ receiver since Marty Booker in 2002 to go over 1,000 yards.
On defence, Henry Melton set the tone by sacking Christian Ponder on the first play from scrimmage.
Elsewhere in the NFL, the N.Y. Giants bombed Green Bay 38-10, Denver beat Kansas City 17-9, Cincinnati dumped Oakland 34-10, Cleveland upended Pittsburgh 20-14, Indianapolis downed Buffalo 20-13, Jacksonville topped Tennessee 24-19, and Atlanta edged Tampa Bay 24-23.
Miami nipped Seattle 24-21, St. Louis beat Arizona 31-17, San Francisco downed New Orleans 31-21, and Baltimore shaded San Diego 16-13 (OT).

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