Consider this a painful win.
The injuries, however, tempered some of the good feelings.
Chicago also came away with three more takeaways to increase its total from a league-leading 30 entering the game to 33.
The rather easy win came after back-to-back losses to Houston and San Francisco, but it also came with a heavy price.
The Bears lost Hester, a receiver and record-setting return specialist, early to a concussion. And that was just the start.
Forte, their top running back, hobbled to the tunnel midway through the third quarter with an ankle injury. Coach Lovie Smith said Tillman, their star cornerback, also hurt his ankle.
Besides those three, the Bears lost both guards in the third quarter to knee sprains, with Lance Louis and Chris Spencer going down. Louis' injury on a blindside hit by Jared Allen as Antoine Winfield returned an interception forced Chicago to go with Gabe Carimi, who lost the right tackle job to Jonathan Scott.
"I don't think it's possible now," Cutler said. "With all the moving parts we have and Lance going down, you're not going to have that. We're going to have to roll with the guys we have and see what we have, lean on our defense as we have before, run the ball well. Be efficient through the air. See how far we go."
As for Cutler, he looked sharp after missing Monday's blowout loss at San Francisco.
"I felt good," Cutler said. "It was a matter of going through the motions, talking to the doctors. I had a good week of practice, a shorter week with the Monday game and Thanksgiving."
"In the third quarter, I leaned over to Jay and said, 'That catch puts me at 1,000 yards for six seasons in a row.' And he looked at me and said, 'You're disgusting,'" Marshall, the Bears' big offseason acquisition, said, laughing.
He added he knew he was closing in because followers on Twitter had mentioned it.
The league's leading rusher, Peterson tied Robert Smith's club record with a 100-yard performance for the fifth consecutive game even though he managed just 25 in the first half. He also lost two fumbles and had to catch a cab to the stadium and arrived about 90 minutes before kickoff.
"We knew what we were getting into," Peterson said. "They wanted to make a statement. I thought it was more so what we did, giving the ball away, not making routine plays. Can't wait to see them again."
Cutler completed 15 of 17 passes for 117 yards in the first half, and the Bears jumped out a big lead after a shaky start on offense.
Ponder got picked off by Conte and he returned it 35 yards to the Minnesota 13. That led to a scoring strike from Cutler to a lunging Matt Spaeth on the next play.
NOTES:Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said he and Peterson were going to have a talk about punctuality after Sunday's delayed arrival. "There is something that Adrian and I need to talk about regarding getting to the stadium," he said. ... Allen thought his hit on Louis after Winfield's interception was a clean one. "I turned around, he was running to make a tackle and I threw myself into him to make a block. My condolences to him and his family. I never, ever, try and intentionally hurt anybody."
Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press