Vikings defense doesn't put much heat on Bears

  • Article by: MARK CRAIG , Star Tribune
  • Updated: October 17, 2011 - 6:06 AM

The Vikings defense failed to put much pressure on Jay Cutler and was left embarrassed after the Bears rolled to an easy victory.

CHICAGO — Jared Allen did tie the Vikings' team record with a sack in his eighth consecutive game, but that one sack is about the only pressure Bears quarterback Jay Cutler faced while standing in the pocket throwing laser after laser during a 39-10 win at Soldier Field on Sunday night.

"It's embarrassing," said Allen, who leads the NFL with 9 1/2 sacks after tying the team mark held by Jim Marshall and Carl Eller. "They whipped us in every facet of the game. Every facet."

Facing maximum protection and two-man pass routes, the Vikings' vaunted pass rush -- led by the combined 13 sacks of Allen and fellow defensive end Brian Robison -- was neutralized by running backs and tight ends helping in protection, not to mention a Bears running game that averaged 4.3 yards on 28 carries.

"It's humiliating," Robison said. "It's the only word I can think of right now. It's simply humiliating."

Allen admitted the Vikings are essentially out of the playoff race heading into Sunday's game against the Packers (6-0) at Mall of America Field.

"I just hope all of our fans don't sell their season tickets to Packer fans," Allen said. "Now we have to go back to work to play the spoiler card and knock off as many teams as we can along the way."

Cutler came into the game having been sacked an NFL-high 70 times in his past 20 regular-season games. But it was evident from the Bears' opening pass that they were committed to protecting Cutler after an embarrassing effort in a loss to the Lions the week before.

And the man wearing the bull's-eye for Cutler's passes early on was cornerback Cedric Griffin, not Chris Cook, the youngster starting in place of injured Antoine Winfield for the second consecutive game.

After a three-and-out by the Vikings offense to open the game, Cutler had plenty of time to zip a 17-yard completion by Griffin to Roy Williams on second-and-7. On the next play, Griffin looked slow while being beaten badly by receiver Devin Hester, who also got behind free safety Husain Abdullah for an easy 48-yard touchdown reception down the middle of the field.

Griffin has struggled while giving up big plays this season. He gave up a 40-yard completion to Detroit's Calvin Johnson that allowed the Lions to kick the game-winning field goal in overtime in Week 3. A week later in Kansas City, Griffin fell in coverage and gave up a 52-yard touchdown pass to Dwayne Bowe that gave Kansas City a 22-10 fourth-quarter lead en route to a 22-17 victory.

Cutler continued to attack Griffin after the Bears' opening possession. On third-and-13 from the Vikings 36-yard line in the second quarter, Hester beat Griffin for a 23-yard gain. One play later, Cutler made it a 23-3 game with a 13-yard pass to Dane Sanzenbacher.

By that point, Cutler was well on his way to completing 21 of 31 passes for 267 yards, two touchdowns, just one sack and a 115.9 passer rating.

"We didn't play well," Griffin said. "The Chicago Bears did."

And then the Vikings limped home with a 1-10 record in their past 11 trips to Illinois.

"Where do we go from here?" Allen asked. "Up. That's the only place we can go right now."

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Houston 1 FINAL
Miami 1
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Minnesota 7
St. Louis 3 FINAL
Detroit 4
Baltimore - WP: T. Wilson 10 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: S. Baker 2
Boston 9 FINAL
Tampa Bay 6
Toronto 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 8
Atlanta 5 FINAL
Toronto 3
Washington 2 FINAL
NY Mets 10
Chicago Cubs 5 FINAL
Cincinnati 9
San Diego 3 FINAL
Texas 2
San Francisco 9 FINAL
Seattle 8
Colorado 4 FINAL
Chicago Cubs 18
Cleveland 3 FINAL
Milwaukee 2
Oakland 10 FINAL
Chicago WSox 4
Los Angeles 5 FINAL
LA Angels 4
Kansas City 10 FINAL
Arizona 5
Atlanta 100 FINAL
Charlotte 115
New York 80 FINAL
Chicago 111
Golden State 108 FINAL
Milwaukee 95
Oklahoma City 89 FINAL
Utah 94
Denver 114 FINAL
Portland 120
Nashville 4 FINAL
Washington 3
Arizona 2 FINAL
Pittsburgh 3
San Jose 3 FINAL(SO)
Philadelphia 2
Anaheim 3 FINAL
NY Islanders 2
NY Rangers 2 FINAL
Boston 4
Tampa Bay 0 FINAL
Detroit 4
New Jersey 1 FINAL
Carolina 3
Florida 2 FINAL(OT)
Montreal 3
Ottawa 3 FINAL(OT)
Toronto 4
Los Angeles 1 FINAL
Minnesota 4
Columbus 4 FINAL
St. Louis 2
Buffalo 3 FINAL
Colorado 5
Dallas 4 FINAL(OT)
Vancouver 3
Arizona 78 FINAL
Wisconsin 85
Canisius 73 FINAL
NJIT 78
Notre Dame 66 FINAL
Kentucky 68
San Jose 1 FINAL
New England 2
Orlando City 2 FINAL
Montreal 2
Los Angeles 0 FINAL
D.C. 1
Sporting Kansas City 1 FINAL
New York City 0
Red Bull New York 2 FINAL
Columbus 1
Portland 1 FINAL
Vancouver FC 2
Colorado 0 FINAL
Houston 0
Seattle 0 FINAL
FC Dallas 0
Texas 54 FINAL
(1) Connecticut 105
Dayton 82 FINAL
(8) Louisville 66
(16) Duke 55 FINAL
(4) Maryland 65
Gonzaga 69 FINAL
(6) Tennessee 73
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
Aug 28 - at Tennessee 7 pmX19-3
2014 regular season     
Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
Sep 14 - vs. New England NoonX30-7
Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
Oct 2 - at Green Bay 7:25 pmX42-10
Oct 12 - vs. Detroit NoonX17-3
Oct 19 - at. Buffalo NoonX17-16
Oct 26 - at Tampa Bay NoonX19-13 ot
Nov 2 - vs. Washington NoonX29-26
Nov 9 - Bye
Nov 16 - at Chicago NoonX21-13
Nov. 23 - vs. Green Bay NoonX24-21
Nov. 30 - vs. Carolina NoonX31-13
Dec 7 - vs. NY Jets NoonX30-24 ot
Dec 14 - at Detroit 3:25 pmX16-14
Dec 21 - at Miami NoonX37-35
Dec 28 - vs. Chicago NoonX13-9

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