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Anatomy of Two Drives: Favre Out, Cutler In

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Anatomy of Two Drives: Favre Out, Cutler In

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Quarterback Brett Favre of the Minnesota Vikings is attended to after being sacked by the Chicago Bears at TCF Bank Stadium on Dec. 20 in Minneapolis.

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In back-to-back drives during the Bears' win on Monday night, legendary quarterback Brett Favre was knocked out of the game, and Jay Cutler engineered a perfect drive to pad the Bears' lead. Starting early in the second quarter, two drives made a mark on the NFC North.

Favre passed to Rice to the left for a 12-yard gain -- The drive started like so many drives had before in Favre's career: with a quick first-down.

Favre incompleted a pass to the right
-- Julius Peppers tipped this pass in the air and came close to intercepting it. With his athleticism, it's hard to believe the man is 6-foot-7, until he tips a pass by merely extending his arms.

Gerhart rushed to the right for a 6-yard gain
-- Starting in place of All-Pro running back Adrian Peterson, Gerhart did what he could to give the Bears fits. He finished with 77 yards.

Favre sacked by Wootton -- Pro Bowl lineman Bryant McKinnie could do nothing to stop rookie Corey Wootton, who will be long remembered for his first sack, a well-executed takedown of the quarterback. Between Wootton's skill and strength, the cold, hard ground and the body of a 41-year-old man that has endured 20 seasons in the NFL, something had to give. It was the old man, and Favre had to be helped off the field, possibly for the last time.

Kluwe punted, no return -- At this point, the Vikings were still being smart and kicking the ball out of bounds, away from Devin Hester.

Cutler incompleted pass to the right
-- Cutler took a shot at a long pass that could have been disastrous. He threw the ball downfield towards Johnny Knox, and the ball passed through the hands of Vikings defender Antoine Winfield.

Forte rushed to the left for a 14-yard gain
-- A well-protected Forte moved to the left edge and ran what turned out to be his longest gain of the night.

Forte rushed to the right for a 2-yard gain -- He wasn't as well-protected this time, running straight ahead and meeting Madieu Williams after just a few yards.

Cutler passed to Olsen down the middle for a 8-yard gain -- Cutler hit Olsen over the middle. He had three Vikings covering him, but Olsen won with a size mismatch.

Forte rushed up the middle for an 8-yard gain -- As he did the whole game, Forte worked to get every extra yard, bringing the Bears just shy of the first down.

Cutler passed to Bennett down the middle for a 23-yard gain -- Though he had a quiet game last night, Bennett showed why he's one of Cutler's favorite targets on this play. After Cutler executed a pitch-perfect fake handoff, Bennett got open, easily caught a Cutler pass up the middle, shrugged off defenders and got the first down.

Taylor rushed to the left for no gain -- The former Viking struggled in Minnesota and was quickly stopped on a run to the left by E.J. Henderson.

Cutler passed to Hester to the right for a 15-yard touchdown. Gould made PAT
-- It turns out that Devin Hester doesn't just return punts and kicks. With Frank Walker on his back, Hester caught a pass at the edge of the end zone to give the Bears some insurance in the second quarter.

We've pointed out the similarities between Favre and Cutler before. It's an odd happenstance of history that Cutler shined just minutes after Favre left the game, possibly for good.

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