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Vikings follow goal-line stand with 99-yard touchdown strike

MINNEAPOLIS -- After Minnesota stuffed Chicago on four tries from the 1, Gus Frerotte threw a 99-yard touchdown pass to Bernard Berrian to help the Vikings take a 17-7 lead over the Bears and spark a 34-14 win.

Matt Forte's 26-yard run gave the Bears a first-and-goal at 1 midway through the second quarter. Kyle Orton's pass to Greg Olsen was incomplete on first down, Forte was stopped short on second down, fullback Jason Davis was kept out on third down and, then Pat Williams, Chad Greenway and Jared Allen swarmed to Forte on fourth down to help the Vikings avoid falling behind 14-3 with first place in the NFC North on the line.

On the very next play, Frerotte dropped into his own end zone, looked right and then found Berrian all alone down the left sideline. Cornerback Charles Tillman thought Berrian was going to run a post and drifted toward the middle of the field, but Berrian kept going straight down the sideline on a fly pattern.

Frerotte hit him in stride, and Berrian easily won a foot race to the end zone to electrify an amped-up Metrodome and give the Vikings a 10-7 lead.

It was the 11th 99-yard pass play in NFL history and the longest offensive play in Vikings history, besting an 89-yarder from Fran Tarkenton to Charley Ferguson in 1962.

The stand and subsequent scoring strike completely shifted the momentum in a game the Bears controlled for the first 23 minutes.

The Bears took the lead in the first quarter when Devin Hester turned a quick slant into a 65-yard touchdown reception from Orton.

The Chicago defense sacked Frerotte twice in the first quarter and pressured him several other times, including on a late hit by Adewale Ogunleye that had the 37-year-old quarterback motionless on the turf and Vikings coach Brad Childress screaming for a penalty.

No flag was thrown, and Minnesota had to settle for a 23-yard field goal by Ryan Longwell after having first-and-goal from the 6-yard line to cut Chicago's lead to 7-3 early in the second quarter.

After Berrian's big play, Chicago was forced to punt on its ensuing possession and Minnesota took the ball with 2:36 to go in the first half. The Vikings sprinkled a couple of Adrian Peterson runs around four passes from Frerotte for 41 yards, and the old man sneaked it in from the 1-yard line to cap the drive.

Berrian, the former Bear, caught four passes for 122 yards and the TD while Peterson continued to gash the Chicago defense with 131 yards and a score on 28 carries.

Peterson entered the game with 423 yards rushing and seven touchdowns in three career games against the Bears.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press

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