Bears overcome early deficit, beat Vikings 21-13

CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago Bears looked more like a team that was coming together than falling apart.

They wiped out an early deficit and came away with the win after one of the worst stretches in franchise history.

Jay Cutler threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns, and the Bears won for just the second time in seven games by beating the Minnesota Vikings 21-13 on Sunday.

Ryan Mundy intercepted Teddy Bridgewater's 29-yard pass in the end zone in the closing minute, and the Bears hung on for the win after suffering two of the worst blowout losses in franchise history.

''We've got a lot of work to do,'' coach Marc Trestman said. ''Our team is joined at the hip to try to continue working. That's what we're gonna do (Monday). The big thing right now is to take the 24 hours to appreciate the work and the time because it's so hard to win in the National Football League.''

Alshon Jeffery had 135 yards receiving and a touchdown catch. Brandon Marshall added 90 yards and two TD receptions, including a 4-yarder in the fourth quarter that made it an 11-point game. Matt Forte ran for 117 yards.

Allen had a sack against his former team, and the Bears (4-6) prevailed after joining the 1923 Rochester Jeffersons as the only teams to give up 50 or more points in consecutive games with blowouts at New England and Green Bay. But it was a different story against the Vikings (4-6).

Here are some things we learned about the Bears and Vikings:

LOCK DOWN: As bad as things were the previous two games, the Bears' defense finally did its job on Sunday. Chicago gave up a season-low 243 yards while racking up 468 and picked up its first win at Soldier Field after dropping the first three there.

Minnesota got a 48-yard end-around by Andrew Sendejo on a fake punt to set up an early touchdown but little else on the way to its seventh straight loss in Chicago.

Bridgewater threw for just 158 yards and touchdown, and the Vikings came up short after winning two in a row.

TIMING ISSUES: The turf at Soldier Field has been a sore spot with home and visiting players for years. But clock issues? That's a new one.

The scoreboard clock started to malfunction in the second quarter, and there were problems the rest of the way.

At first, the clocks on the side were working. They were all out once the second half started, forcing the referees to keep time by hand, and stayed that way for most of the third quarter before coming back on. There were more issues in the closing minutes of the game, and Vikings coach Mike Zimmer was not happy.

''It's another new experience,'' he said. ''It's hard to know because no one is telling you how much time is left,'' he said.

Zimmer used an expletive to describe the clocks, and then apologized for his language. Stadium officials were not sure what caused the problem.

NFL spokesman Michael Signora said the protocol when game clocks at the stadium are not operational is for time to be kept on the field, with the side judge responsible for the game clock and the line judge also keeping the game time as a backup. The back judge is responsible for the play clock.

PETERSON PROBLEM: The Vikings might be getting star running back Adrian Peterson back soon. They could have used him against the Bears.

''That's the furthest thing from my mind right now,'' Zimmer said when asked about a possible resolution in the coming week. ''I need to figure out how we can tackle and get people out on third downs.''

Peterson remains on paid leave by the league following child abuse charges.

BIG TARGETS: Marshall and Jeffery had no problem exploiting the Vikings' smaller defensive backs. They repeatedly outjumped smaller defenders, and Jeffery wound up with a season-high 11 catches in another big performance against the Vikings. He had a franchise record 249 yards at Minnesota last year.

EASING THE ANGST: Fans made their feelings clear early on by booing and not showing up. There were 6,472 no-shows and the 55,320 fans on hand were letting their team hear it after Bridgewater connected with Rhett Ellison for a 7-yard touchdown to make it 10-0 following Sendejo's end-around with the Vikings lined up to punt late in the first quarter.

NOTES: Vikings TE Kyle Rudolph returned after missing six games with a sports hernia, but did not catch a pass. ... Allen is 1-9 in his career at Soldier Field. ... The 243 yards allowed were the fewest by the Bears since they held Houston to 215 on Nov. 11, 2012.

---

AP NFL websites: http://www.pro32.ap.org and http://www.twitter.com/AP-NFL

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide—from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Andy Staples, Grant Wahl, and more—delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.