Postgame Thoughts: Bears vs. Vikings (12.28.09)

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I’ll keep my postgame thoughts brief because I’m only hours away from posting my Tuesday edition of Monday Morning Quarterback.

This game was essentially the Bears’ Super Bowl. It was a game against a division rival which happened to be one of the best teams in the league. And the Bears got the job done.

It was a pleasant change of pace to see the Bears jump out to an early lead, something all too uncommon for them this year. That early momentum and a 16-0 first half lead ended up being very important as the Vikings turned things around in the second half and mounted a comeback that took the game into overtime. If not for that early lead, the game could have been a blowout in the second half.

I thought several players had good games. Most important to the team, however, were Jay Cutler, Devin Aromashodu, and Danieal Manning. Cutler had a solid game with 273 yards, four touchdowns and just one interception. Aromashodu had his second great game in three weeks as he finished with 7 catches for 150 yards and the game-winning 39-yard touchdown reception in overtime. And Danieal Manning had a couple great kick returns to set up the offense with good field position, plus he found his way around the football quite often on defense.

One more player to mention was Hunter Hillenmeyer, who led the team in tackles, got his hands on a few passes, and also punched the ball out of Adrian Peterson’s hands, setting up the game-winning touchdown pass for the Bears.

There’s just one game left in the season, so injuries won’t play a major factor in the season outcome, but you have to feel bad for both Johnny Knox and Charles Tillman, both of whom were taken off the field on wheels. Knox appeared to have suffered a major knee injury on a kickoff return while Tillman was hit in his side on a collision with Craig Steltz.

There was much of the same feeling in the Bears’ second-half performance as there was throughout the season, but the one difference-maker was that they came away with a thrilling victory. The win doesn’t make up for a bad season, but it certainly provided a happy Monday evening.

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