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Marshall, Jeffery dominate as Bears beat Vikings

The Chicago Bears (4-6) earned their first home win of the season, rolling over the Minnesota Vikings (4-6) 21-13 at a chilly Soldier Field. Our takeaways:

  1. After a week of getting torched, Marc Trestman compiled a good offensive game plan. The Bears executed a ton of quick screens and throws early that got the ball out of Jay Cutler's hand. This strategy led to Chicago's big receivers getting deep for shots later. Trestman still made some curious game calls -- he managed the end of the first half awfully and on fourth-and-goal early in the third quarter he called a wide run for Cutler from an empty set. (Why? Who knows?)
  1. Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery absolutely dominated. The duo chewed up YAC, breaking tackles on quick screens and out-jumped shorter corners with ease. Jeffery gobbled up 11 catches for 135 yards and a touchdown, while Marshall grabbed seven passes for 90 yards and twoscores. It appeared that Cutler was playing "Where's Josh Robinson?" for most of the game, picking on the Vikes' 5-foot-10 cornerback.
  1. Teddy Bridgewater had possibly his worst pro start. He was hesitant and didn't stretch the field at all. He finished 18 for 28 passing for 168 yards with one touchdown and one interception. That the Vikings didn't even attempt to threaten down field against one of the worst secondaries in the NFL is an indictment of the offense and its quarterback. In the first half, the Vikings had 122 total yards of offense, 48 came on a fake punt and Bridgewater had just 39 yards passing.
  1. Cutler had such a Cutler day. For the most part, he looked like Good Jay (a 44-yard strike to Marshall came while he got smoked in the pocket). At other times he was Terrible Jay (throwing off his back foot and forcing a pass over the middle that was picked).
  1. Viva Forte!
  1. The Vikes' D couldn't get pressure in Cutler's face up the gut. The quarterback did a good job of stepping up in the pocket when Everson Griffen won on the outside. Interior pressure would have led to several sacks. A Vikings D-line that had been dominant didn't record a single sack.
  1. Jared Allen got some revenge on his former team. The pass rusher had one sack, five tackles and three quarterback hits.
  1. The clock malfunctioned at Soldier Field several times. For much of the second half, refs on the sidelines monitored time. I imagine it felt like a game being playing in 1923.

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