Bears vs Vikings: Chicago Can't Stop Peterson Early, Protect Cutler Late in Loss

Andrew Garda@andrew_gardaFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2012

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - DECEMBER 09:  Quarterback Jay Cutler#6 of the Chicago Bears walks back to the huddle after throwing a incomplete pass against the Minnesota Vikings at Mall of America Field on December 9, 2012 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)
Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

The Bears had to make the Vikings go to the air, but the injuries on the defense seemed to be too much to overcome as the Vikings' Adrian Peterson blew up in the first half, leading Minnesota to a win.

Jay Cutler was on the sideline at the end of the game, departing after a big hit by Vikings' defensive end Everson Griffin. It wasn't clear why Cutler was out until after the game when it was reported he was out at least in part due to a neck injury.

Jason Campbell replaced Cutler and started off shaky, but then was able to score a touchdown late to pull the Bears to within a touchdown. Yet the Vikings recovered the onside kick and that was it for the game.

It might have been different if Cutler had been available, but Campbell filled in well overall, and the deficit may have been too much for Cutler to overcome anyway. 

Cutler's two interceptions were hard to overcome as well. One was a result of rookie Alshon Jeffery slipping on the turf, but the other was way overthrown and is certainly one he'd like to have back.

Of course, he was under pressure all day, sacked twice and pressured more than a dozen times throughout the course of the game. There were times where the Bears offensive line simply stopped blocking in the middle of a play and Cutler got killed.

Whether the Bears make the postseason or not—and it's no sure thing with the Packers coming up next—the offensive line has to be priority this offseason.

On the positive side, Matt Forte looked solid carrying the ball and was fantastic catching out of the backfield. They couldn't get the ball in his hands often enough, and he's looking like money well spent for the Bears.

Also, can we file a police report in Miami-Dade County for the highway robbery Chicago staged in swiping Brandon Marshall? Is there any receiver really playing better right now? Calvin Johnson, Julio Jones, Jordy Nelson—they're great.

Marshall is taking his game to a whole new level, though. Every week we see him make it look easy when we know it's not.

Unfortunately, it wasn't enough, and the Bears are now in a very precarious position going into a tough game against the Green Bay Packers in Week 15.


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