Exposed again, Vikings lose to last-place Bears

                                                                                                                                                                                                   
  • Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, left, and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford (8) talk after an NFL football game in Chicago, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Chicago won 20-10.

    Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler, left, and Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford (8) talk after an NFL football game in Chicago, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Chicago won 20-10. Associated Press

  • Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, left, and Chicago Bears head coach John Fox shake hands after an NFL football game in Chicago, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Chicago won 20-10.

    Minnesota Vikings head coach Mike Zimmer, left, and Chicago Bears head coach John Fox shake hands after an NFL football game in Chicago, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Chicago won 20-10. Associated Press

  • Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) throws against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016.

    Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (6) throws against the Minnesota Vikings during the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Associated Press

  • Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard (24) runs from Minnesota Vikings strong safety Anthony Harris, from left, Danielle Hunter (99) and Eric Kendricks (54) during the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016.

    Chicago Bears running back Jordan Howard (24) runs from Minnesota Vikings strong safety Anthony Harris, from left, Danielle Hunter (99) and Eric Kendricks (54) during the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Associated Press

  • Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford (8) throws against the Chicago Bears during the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016.

    Minnesota Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford (8) throws against the Chicago Bears during the first half of an NFL football game in Chicago, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. Associated Press

  • Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Laquon Treadwell's cleats are shown with Cubs Win! on them during warmups before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Chicago, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. The Cubs are playing the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogas

    Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Laquon Treadwell's cleats are shown with Cubs Win! on them during warmups before an NFL football game against the Chicago Bears in Chicago, Monday, Oct. 31, 2016. The Cubs are playing the Cleveland Indians in the World Series. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogas Associated Press

 
 
Posted11/1/2016 7:00 AM

CHICAGO -- Sam Bradford and the Minnesota Vikings were rolling as the NFL's last undefeated team. Now, they can't even beat the last-place team in their division.

Bradford got sacked five times behind a leaky offensive line and the Vikings dropped their second straight in a stunning 20-10 loss to the Chicago Bears on Monday night.

 

"We're a good team," guard Brandon Fusco said. "It's not us. It's not Viking football. That's what is frustrating, we're such a good team. What we're putting out on the field is not us. We have to watch the film and get better from this."

The Vikings (5-2) lost their second straight following a defeat against Philadelphia last week. And if there was any doubt the blueprint to beat them was out, it got squashed with this loss.

Cutler threw for 252 yards and a touchdown after missing five games with a thumb injury, rookie Jordan Howard ran for a career-high 153 yards and a TD and the Bears (2-6) dominated in the trenches en route to a stunning victory.

Here are some things to know about the Vikings' loss to the Bears.

OFF LINE: The Vikings have allowed 11 sacks the past two weeks. If that doesn't say it all, what does?

by signing up you agree to our terms of service
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Their tackles once again got dominated.

Jake Long was out of football and hoping to get a chance to prove his right knee was healthy again when the Vikings signed him on Oct. 11. The Vikings moved T.J. Clemmings to right tackle for the Eagles game and had Long at left tackle.

But he gave up two strip sacks against Philadelphia and got beaten by Chicago's Leonard Floyd on a sack.

"We've got to keep Sam upright," Long said. "I mean, when he has a clean pocket he does great things so we just can't get him hit like that."

CUTLER COMMITMENT: Cutler had not played since he left the second game of the season against Philadelphia. But with his future up in the air after coach John Fox wavered in his commitment to him as the starter, he made a triumphant return.

Cutler completed 20 of 31 passes, including an 11-yard touchdown to Alshon Jeffery early in the third that made it 20-3. Whether he quieted fans who thought the Bears were better off with Brian Hoyer is another issue. But that became a moot point when Hoyer broke his left arm last week in a Thursday night loss at Green Bay.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

"He might have been part of that reason why guys turned it up a notch," Fox said.

NO DEFENSE: The Vikings came in with the NFL's No. 1 defense. The way the Bears moved, it was hard to tell.

The 403 total yards and 158 rushing yards were season highs against Minnesota. That included a 69-yard run by Howard , the longest by a Bears player in seven years.

"We missed a big one early," linebacker Chad Greenway said. "They hit it. We missed a tackle, bad angles, as a whole defense we give it up."

BIG PLAYS: The Bears struck big when they could, reached the end zone and looked more for Jeffery down the field with Cutler at quarterback. Those were things they didn't do with Hoyer.

Chicago scored two touchdowns, and four Bears players had receptions of 20 yards or more. Jeffery caught four passes for 63 yards and his first touchdown catch of the year - an 11-yarder. He also had a 34-yard reception.

"I told him that I'm just going to keep coming to you," Cutler said. "We wanted to get him vertical at some point in the game."

FLOYD'S EMERGENCE: Bears rookie outside linebacker Leonard Floyd continues to emerge.

The No. 9 overall draft pick has dealt with calf and hamstring injuries, but he is coming on strong.

Floyd had a sack early in this game after collecting two against Green Bay.

"We have a first-round pick out there who we think very much of," Fox said. "He's been up and down as far as injuries throughout his career so far, whether it was in camp, preseason and obviously the regular season. I think he's a big boost."

___

AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org and AP NFL Twitter feed: www.twitter.com/AP_NFL

0 Comments
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Get articles sent to your inbox.

Article Comments
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.