The Chicago Bears didn't make it easy, but Martellus Bennett's touchdown catch with 10 seconds left in the fourth quarter helped them squeak by the Minnesota Vikings by a 31-30 score on Sunday afternoon at Soldier Field.
Jay Cutler had an up and down afternoon for the Bears, throwing three touchdown passes and two interceptions in the game, but it was enough as the Bears got the win and earned their first 2-0 record since the 2010 season.
The game got off to an ominous start for the Bears, as they gave up an opening kickoff return for a touchdown by Cordarrelle Patterson, as he scampered 105 yards for the score. Devin Hester followed that up with a 72-yard return of his own, and Cutler led the Bears on a five play, 32 yard drive to tie the game at 7-7.
After a few more unsuccessful drives, the Bears grabbed the lead late in the first quarter as Brandon Marshall outduelled the Minnesota secondary and snared a 34-yard touchdown pass.
In the second quarter, the defenses became the stars of the show, as Jared Allen stripped the ball from Cutler in the backfield, and Brian Robison scooped it up off the turf and ran it in 61 yards for the tying score.
After a three and out by the Bears, Tim Jennings picked off an errant Ponder pass and returned it 44 yards to give the Bears back a 21-14 lead. The Vikings responded less than two minutes later, as Kyle Rudolph snared a touchdown pass from Ponder to knot the game back at 21-21. The Bears were not done in the first half, however, as Robbie Gould booted a short 20-yard field goal to give his team a 24-21 lead going into the half.
Unfortunately for the Bears, the second half was all Vikings. Blair Walsh kicked a 28 yard field goal in the third quarter to tie the game at 24-24, and followed that up with two more field goals in the fourth quarter to move Minnesota in front by a 30-24 score.
The Bears were not done yet, however. Cutler and the Bears marched the ball right back down the field, and after a great catch by Bennett to set up a first down deep in Vikings territory. On the very next play, Bennett ran a great route along the left side of the field, and Cutler fired a perfect pass to his back shoulder to give the Bears the improbable victory.
We will have plenty of Bears coverage on Monday for NBC Chicago, with our Grizzly Details column and our Four Phases Report Card.