|ESPN.com: NFL Nation||[Print without images]|
Deadlines were tight Sunday night, but columnists from Chicago and Minnesota still had time to weigh in on an entertaining, if one-sided, game between the previous NFC North co-leaders. The Vikings' 34-14 victory brought forth a variety of opinions, of which we will take our usual Monday morning sampling.
David Haugh of the Chicago Tribune thought the play before the Vikings' 99-yard touchdown pass represented the true turning point of the game:
Vikings nose tackle Pat Williams and defensive end Jared Allen rose to the occasion, one that was too big for the Bears' offensive line. Williams stuffed the hole on the right side, and an unblocked Allen came from the backside to wrap [Matt] Forte at the waist. ... No matter what "SportsCenter" shows you, that was the play of the game. The one that followed on the Vikings' ensuing possession was more spectacular but not as significant. It was too easy for that.
The Tribune's Rick Morrissey came down hard on quarterback Kyle Orton:
As Sunday's game against the Vikings wore on, Kyle Orton went from Good to Bad to Are You Kidding Me? He threw three second-half interceptions in a crushing 34-14 loss.
Rick Telander of the Chicago Sun-Times got in his shots as well:
People, it's hard to screw up more than the Bears did during a stupendous vapor lock with five minutes to go in the second quarter at the Hump Dome.
Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune, meanwhile, considered Sunday night's game the model the Vikings have been building toward for years.
This is what the Wilfs envisioned when they spent all that money -- Bernard Berrian outrunning his old teammates to the end zone, and the sweat gleaming off Jared Allen's mullet on HD TVs across the land. This is what Brad Childress envisioned when he bestowed the unfortunate nickname of "Kick-ass offense" on his beloved and besieged scheme -- Adrian Peterson running wild, commanding attention from safeties while receivers bolted behind them. This is what the Triangle of Authority envisioned while sketching this team's blueprint -- a team that pounds the line of scrimmage and devours opposing quarterbacks. This is what the Vikings craved all decade -- a dominating, consequential victory that seizes command of a division they've never won, the historic NFC North.
We'll be back later Monday with some a few more thoughts on the division. For now, let's take a look at some news and notes after Week 13's games.