Cutler, Bears lead Vikings 16-0 after 1st quarter

Devin Hester caught a 48-yard touchdown pass from Jay Cutler,

Marion Barber scored on a 3-yard run, and the Chicago Bears led the

Minnesota Vikings 16-0 after the first quarter on Sunday night.

After the Vikings went three and out on their first possession,

Cutler connected with Roy Williams for 17 yards on Chicago’s second

play from scrimmage. On the next play, Cutler threw a strike to

Hester for a 48-yard touchdown.

Bears punter Adam Podlesh pinned the Vikings on their 5 yard

line, and two plays later Minnesota’s Donovan McNabb was sacked in

the end zone by Stephen Paea for a safety.

On the ensuing possession, Cutler found Williams for an 18-yard

catch, and Matt Forte ran for 21 yards down the left sideline.

Barber finished the 56-yard scoring drive with a 3-yard touchdown

run that gave the Bears a 16-0 lead.

Bears defensive end Julius Peppers started despite being listed

as doubtful on the injury report. Peppers sprained his left knee

Monday during a loss at Detroit and didn’t practice all week.

After winning the NFC North last season, the Bears (2-3) are

trying to avoid falling into a last-place tie with the Vikings

(1-4) in the four team division.

Minnesota cornerback Antoine Winfield was out for the second

straight game because of a neck injury.

The Bears also shook up their defensive backfield after they

gave up a series of big plays against Detroit. Safeties Major

Wright and Chris Conte started over Chris Harris and Brandon

Meriweather. Harris was inactive for the game.

The Vikings haven’t had their share of big plays in the passing

game. They rank 31st in the NFL in passing offense as McNabb

struggles to connect with his receivers. Visanthe Shiancoe and

Bernard Berrian each had drops in the first quarter against the

Bears.