NFL Roundup: Cutler leads Bears to signature win
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Jay Cutler tied a career high with four touchdown passes and the Chicago Bears beat Michael Vick and the visiting Philadelphia Eagles, 31-26, to take sole possession of the NFC North lead.
The win was their fourth in a row and it put them a game ahead of Green Bay in the division. It also came against one of the top teams in the NFC.
The Eagles (7-4) had won three in a row, but were unable to break off big plays against one of the league's stingiest defenses and fell into a tie with the New York Giants for the NFC East lead.
Vick threw for 333 yards and two touchdowns. But he also threw his first interception in four years when he got picked off by Chris Harris in the end zone late in the first half, stopping a potential go-ahead scoring drive.
Julius Peppers had a sack for Chicago (8-3) after collecting three the previous week, and the Bears got a signature win after beating struggling teams such as Buffalo, Minnesota and the injury-ravaged Dolphins.
Matt Forte ran for 117 yards -- the most by anyone against Philadelphia this season. That included a 61-yarder to set up the first touchdown. And when he wasn't running by the Eagles, Cutler was picking them apart.
He had a 146.2 rating for the game, going 14 of 21 for 247 yards without an interception.
Devin Hester caught three passes for 86 yards, and Earl Bennett added two touchdown catches.
It didn't hurt that the Eagles were missing their top two cornerbacks after Pro Bowler Asante Samuel stayed home with a knee injury and Ellis Hobbs went on injured reserve during the week with a neck injury.
Defensive end Juqua Parker also sat out with a hip flexor strain, but they still had a rejuvenated MVP candidate behind center.
Even so, the Eagles fell to 5-1 in games Vick has started and finished.
He hit Brent Celek with a 30-yard touchdown that made it 31-26 with 1:54 left, but Johnny Knox recovered the onside kick, preserving the win.
• Texans 20, Titans 0: Arian Foster rushed for 143 yards and caught nine passes for Houston, and its defense shut down visiting Tennessee for the Texans' first shutout since 2004. Houston cornerback Glover Quin set a franchise record with three interceptions off Titans rookie quarterback Rusty Smith, who struggled in his first career start. The game was halted for more than five minutes as officials sorted out the chaos caused by a fight between Texans' receiver Andre Johnson and Titans' corner Cortland Finnegan.
• Chiefs 42, Seahawks 24: Matt Cassel threw three touchdown passes to Dwayne Bowe and Jamaal Charles rushed for 173 yards as visiting Kansas City remained on top of the AFC West with the win against Seattle. Facing Pete Carroll, his former coach at Southern California, Cassel threw for 233 yards and four touchdowns. Bowe extended his streak of games with at least one touchdown reception to seven in a row.
• Rams 36, Broncos 33: Rookie Sam Bradford threw for three touchdowns and had his first 300-yard game as visiting St. Louis escaped Denver with a win. The Rams had a seemingly safe 33-13 lead heading into the fourth quarter, but the Broncos (3-8) pulled within three points with 2:35 remaining. The Rams (5-6) held on and now share first place in the NFC West with Seattle.
• Giants 24, Jaguars 20: Eli Manning threw a 32-yard touchdown pass to Kevin Boss with 3:15 to play as host New York rallied to beat Jacksonville, snapping a two-game losing streak and ending the Jaguars' three-game winning streak. Manning also threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Mario Manningham, Lawrence Tynes kicked three field goals and the defense came up with three consecutive sacks and a late turnover with 1:25 to go as the Giants (7-4) rallied from an 11-point halftime deficit.
• Vikings 17, Redskins 13: Brett Favre was perfect on two scoring drives as visiting Minnesota won Leslie Frazier's NFL head coaching debut, despite Adrian Peterson's early injury, by beating Washington. Favre went 3 for 3 on Minnesota's opening possession, which ended with Peterson's 5-yard touchdown run. The 41-year-old quarterback was 5 for 5 on the first drive of the second half, capped by a 5-yard touchdown from rookie Toby Gerhart, who took over after Peterson left in the second quarter with a bad right ankle.
• Dolphins 33, Raiders 17: Chad Henne returned from a benching and injury to throw for 307 yards and two scores, and Dan Carpenter kicked four field goals to help visiting Miami beat Oakland. Davone Bess had 111 yards receiving in his first game as a pro in his hometown, and Ricky Williams ran for 95 yards and a score for the Dolphins (6-5), who won for the fifth time in six road games to keep their playoff hopes alive.
First Published November 29, 2010 12:00 am