Cutler sharp as Bears beat Vikings, 28-10

Associated Press Modified: November 26, 2012 at 4:32 am •  Published: November 26, 2012
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CHICAGO (AP) — Even a lopsided win was painful for the Chicago Bears.

They got Jay Cutler back after missing a game with a concussion, only to lose three more stars to injuries in a 28-10 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

Devin Hester left the game with a concussion. Matt Forte and Charles Tillman exited with ankle injuries, and if that weren't enough, the Bears also lost both starting guards.

That certainly tempered the good feelings for the Bears on a day that Cutler threw for 188 yards and a touchdown to lead the Bears.

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 defense 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.

"It was a game we had to have," coach Lovie Smith said. "Again, a division home game you have to stand up for it."

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. 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. Louis' injury on a blindside hit by Jared Allen as Antoine Winfield returned an interception forced Chicago to go with Gabe Carimi, who lost the right tackle job to Jonathan Scott.

Spencer, meanwhile, was in the lineup after Chilo Rachal left the team.

Hopes the Bears had for developing continuity on the line appear to be out of the question in the short term.

"I don't think it's possible now," Cutler said. "With all the moving parts we have and Lance going down, you're not going to have that. We're going to have to roll with the guys we have and see what we have, lean on our defense as we have before, run the ball well. Be efficient through the air. See how far we go."

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.

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