With all things considered, the Bears played one of their best first quarters of the season, holding the Vikings scoreless and heading into the second period tied at 0.
Little else went right for them from there.
Brett Favre completed 66% of his passes for 392 yards and 3 touchdowns. He finished 10 yards short of his career record, which would have been fitting since almost every other team in the league this year reached firsts or had their biggest or best performance of some sort while playing against the Bears.
The Bears contained Adrian Peterson for the most part, holding him to 85 yards on 25 carries.
Offensively, the Bears decided to scrap the run game — which was a wise decision against one of the league’s best run defenses — as Matt Forte finished with just 27 yards on 8 carries. Jay Cutler completed 18 of 23 passes for 147 yards and a touchdown but also added two interceptions to his league-leading total.
I remember text messaging a friend a few hours before the game comparing my pregame mood to that of a man on death row. It may be an extreme comparison, but it essentially conveys the feeling that I had beforehand, knowing that something bad was going to happen later in the afternoon and all I could do was wait for it to happen.
I was pleased that I didn’t see too much excessive celebration from the Bears’ division rival, but it didn’t make me feel that much better considering the final result. The Vikings nearly scored exactly what I thought they would — a botched extra point attempt on the last score foiled that prediction for me. But the Bears couldn’t even find the end zone more than once or tack on any more than one measly field goal.
If there is anything positive that we can take from this loss, at least we’ll stop hearing the word “playoffs” from Lovie Smith and the Bears players and we’ll start hearing things like, “we’re going to try to play better and finish the season strong.” I’d like to see them win at least once more this season and their best chance will come next week against the Rams, who are 1-10. They also have the Lions at the end of the season, but it’s in Detroit, and there’s no guarantee this ragtag group of players will come away with a win.
The Bears are now 4-7 and have lost 6 of their last 7 games. I know many Bears fans will continue to root against their team with the hopes that ownership makes some front office and coaching changes in the offseason. I will never do that, but I will hope that everybody in the front office is watching closely and realizing that, at the very least, major changes to player personnel are required to compete next year and beyond.
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