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Peterson Drops the Ball While Cutler Comes Through as Bears Beat Vikes 23

Posted: December 29, 2009, 12:47 AM ; Updated: December 29, 2009, 1:04 AM

CHICAGO (AP) -- Brett Favre cranked up and made one more impossible throw, zinging a touchdown pass in the fading seconds. Too bad for the Minnesota Vikings , that merely put them into overtime.

The Vikings lost again Monday night, beaten by the Chicago Bears 36-30 when Jay Cutler tossed a 39-yard strike to Devin Aromashodu . Minnesota fell for the third time in four games, and the defeat gave the New Orleans Saints homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.

Playing for the first time since the dustup between Favre and coach Brad Childress became public, the Vikings' late rally wasn't enough.

Despite Favre's stunning, fourth-down pass to Sidney Rice with 16 seconds left in regulation, Cutler threw the game-winner with just over 9 minutes left in overtime to prevent the Vikings (11-4) from locking up a first-round playoff bye.

Nick Roach recovered a fumble by Adrian Peterson following a catch, setting up Cutler's fourth touchdown pass of the game.

Favre's pass to a leaping Rice capped a 68-yard touchdown drive and tied the game at 30.

Chicago's Robbie Gould had a chance to win it on the first possession of the overtime but missed a 45-yard field goal wide right.

The Bears (6-9) took advantage a few minutes later, though, when Hunter Hillenmeyer knocked the ball away from Peterson and Roach recovered. Cutler found an open Aromashodu, who had beaten Antoine Winfield , and the Bears won for just the third time in 11 games.

''D.A., he's been coming along,'' Cutler said. ''He had some injuries early on. ... I'm happy for him.''

Favre has never led a team to a win after trailing by 17 or more points, falling to 0-43 in such situations. The Bears were up 23-6 in the third quarter and the Vikings were able to tie it twice.

Minnesota can lock up a first-round bye with a win next week and loss or tie by Philadelphia or with a tie and an Eagles loss. But after running away with the NFC North, the Vikings didn't expect to be in this situation.

They started 10-1 behind a resurgent Favre, but have tailed off since. Favre had a good game after three mediocre performances, completing 26 of 40 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns. Peterson ran for 94 yards and two scores, but the Vikings simply couldn't pull this one out.

Cutler looked more like the player the Bears thought they were getting in a trade with Denver than the one who's been racking up interceptions at an alarming rate. He was 20 of 35 for 273 yards, although he did throw his league-leading 26th interception.

''It's fun,'' Cutler said of outdueling Favre. ''He got me in Denver. I got him when he was in New York. ... It was a good game.''

Aromashodu had seven catches for 150 yards, and Danieal Manning set up two touchdowns with kickoff returns of 57 and 59 yards.

The Bears led 16-0 at halftime and 23-6 midway through the third before Minnesota rallied. The Vikings tied it at 23 on Peterson's 1-yard run with 5:49 left, then Manning ran the kickoff back 59 yards before tripping at the 21. Two plays later, Cutler hit Earl Bennett with a 20-yard touchdown to give the Bears a 30-23 lead with 4:55 remaining, and the Bears appeared to be in good shape.

Favre and Rice had other ideas, though, tying it with that spectacular catch at the end of regulation.

This looked like a primetime-worthy matchup when the schedule came out, and it lived up to that billing even though the script didn't play out as expected.

Bears coach Lovie Smith is feeling the heat, and general manager Jerry Angelo added a few logs before last week's loss at Baltimore, when he passed on offering a vote of confidence while saying a roster overhaul wasn't necessary.

Then again, after three straight misses, it's not clear if Angelo is on solid footing. Suddenly, the Vikings are looking shaky, too.

That sideline confrontation during last week's loss to Carolina sparked reports that Favre and Childress had clashed over play-calling, although they insisted their relationship was fine.

Childress said he simply wanted to protect a quarterback under siege by the Panthers. Favre indicated it was performance-based.

Either way, the idea of pulling the league's career passing leader raised more than a few eyebrows even if he hadn't been playing the way he did earlier.

NOTES: Chicago CB Charles Tillman suffered a rib injury making a tackle in the fourth quarter and had to be wheeled off the field on a stretcher. ... Bears WR Johnny Knox injured an ankle returning a kickoff and was taken off the field on a cart in the third. ... Vikings NT Pat Williams was inactive because of an elbow injury and Jimmy Kennedy started in his place.

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23 Comments

I LOVED THE GAME!:) SO THE GREAT THING WAS CUTLER ONLY HAD 1 INT. :| THAT WAS GREAT COMPARED TO WHEN THEY PLAYED THE 49ERS WHEN HE HAD 5 INTERSEPTIONS:( THAT PLAY OF THE WEEK THE T.D. PASS TO DEVEN AROSHMADOU WAS SWEET!!!!!!!!!!!!:))))))):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):):) WHEN JONNY KNOX GOT HURT THAT STUNCK WELL I HOPE JONNY KONX DOES PLAY TOMORROW AGENST DETROIT> THE BEARS ARE PLAYING DETROIT, SO IT'S THE CHICAGO BEARS> V.S.

it was a good move by the bears if they had wr

bears are awsome and i am not scared of any thing

GEAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'M ON YOUR SIDE FOR THAT

Farve is doing just what he did last year starting dominant and ending terible. puting him in the pro bowl could be costly and the super bowl thats just a dream. but the 40 year old did better than last year.

Farve needs to go away. Sure he has all the records, and he is a good player, but his time should be up. Great game by the bears too!

TO BAD!!!!! FARVE 40 YEAROLD RAN OUT OF MAGIC I'M NOT SURPRISED TO BAD BRETTIE

I cant belive the vikings lost i thought they would go to the super bowl.

SO THERE A AVERIGED NFL TEAM

i thouhgt the bears would spank the bears i'm surprised.

I am a Bears fan and from who they got in the offseason they should have done well all season but they didn't. The new personal paid off yesterday.

im a huge bears fan i thought theyd lose

DUDE YOU GOTTA BE CONSISTANT, I'M A HUGE FAN MYSELF THEY CAN OVER COME ANY NFL TEAM THE T.D. PASS TO AROSHAMADOU WAS THE GAME WINNER AND YOU NEED TO BLEAVE IN THEM

I hate the Bears especially Jay Cutler he's so overated Boo Bears Go Chargers

Great game. Go Bears! I know they stink, but they can still go 7-9.

The bears have so many problems the OL the WR the S the LB the everything they dont have a 1st or 2nd round pick sorry Jerry Angelo you have to spend money the more important thing to fix is coaching P.S. bears fire Jerry

the vikings stink on road. Period.

That stinks

That stinks? How could you sat that The monsters of the midway destroy!

good win for "the bears"...bad loss for the vikings

wow. the vikings used to be a one-loss team not too long ago, looking among the best. now, even teams you wouldn't think COULD be ahead of them are now ahead.

SPORTSCENTER3 STOP YOUR ATATUDE ABOUT THE BEARS. TO BAD FOR THE VIKINGS AND SORRY IF YER A VIKINGS FAN BECAUSE THEY LOST:(((((((((((((((((((((((((( HEH HEH I'M A BEARS FAN!!!

well, i mean teams that are not very good (such as the bears) are winning againgst them.

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