CHICAGO (AP) — Jay Cutler, Mr. Fourth Quarter? The nickname just might stick if he keeps this up.
Cutler came through just in time again, firing a 16-yard touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett with 10 seconds left to lead the Chicago Bears to a 31-30 victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.
"He's just ice cold, man," said Brandon Marshall, who added that he calls Cutler "Mr. Fourth Quarter."
"So, I really appreciate and am grateful to play with him."
Things were looking bleak after Minnesota's Blair Walsh kicked a 22-yard field goal to make it a six-point game with 3:15 remaining. Chicago took over at its 34, and Cutler went to work.
After leading the Bears back from an 11-point deficit to beat Cincinnati in the opener, he did it again — this time with a heavy rain falling.
A 23-yard pass to Bennett along the sideline put the ball on the 16. Cutler then spiked the ball because his tight end did not get out of bounds when he admittedly should have.
After an incompletion, Cutler hit a twisting Bennett in the front corner of the end zone with a pass to his back shoulder. Robbie Gould kicked the go-ahead extra point and Chicago (2-0) remained unbeaten under new coach Marc Trestman despite committing four turnovers.
Cutler completed 28 of 39 passes for 290 yards and three touchdowns. But he was also intercepted twice and got stripped by Jared Allen on a sack, leading to a 61-yard touchdown return for Brian Robison in the second quarter.
"He had moments of adversity in this game and he never flinched and the guys around him never did, either," Trestman said.
Devin Hester returned five kickoffs for a Bears-record 249 yards — including a 76-yarder and an 80-yarder.
Bennett had 76 yards receiving and two touchdowns. Brandon Marshall had seven catches for 113 yards and a touchdown. Matt Forte chipped in with 71 yards receiving and 90 yards rushing.
Minnesota's Cordarrelle Patterson returned the opening kickoff 105 yards to tie a club record. Christian Ponder threw for 227 yards, a touchdown and an interception after getting picked off three times in a season-opening loss to Detroit. Adrian Peterson ran for 100 yards, but the Vikings (0-2) remained winless at Soldier Field since 2007.
Peterson said he was "a little hesitant" and added: "I have to do a lot of soul searching and come back better than I was."
Allen pointed at the defense.
"This game came down to one series, six-point lead, they had the ball on the 34 and we've got to get off the field," he said. "It just plain and simple. We have to get off the field in that situation."