View from the Press Box: Bears at Vikings - FOX 32 News Chicago

View from the Press Box: Bears at Vikings

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

This was a game the Chicago Bears could not afford to lose. The Minnesota Vikings couldn't either and in the end it was Minnesota who got off to a fast start that put the Bears in a hole they could not climb out of.

Adrian Peterson set a new Vikings record rushing for 104 yards in the first quarter. Nearly half of them on the first play of the game. His two touchdowns were too much to overcome on a day the Bears offense struggled with untimely penalties, dropped passes and a pick-6 that proved the difference in the game.

"There was a lot of problems on offense. I didn't play well. Interceptions happen...we just got to get better," Jay Cutler said.

But after losing for the fourth time in five games, they are running out of opportunities to show that they can. An offense expected to put up big time points hasn't.

Since scoring 51 points in a week 9 trip to Nashville, the Bears have averaged just 14 points a game. And with the loss Sunday, they have now lost six straight in December. Not exactly a team pushing for the post season. A member of the media had to ask to be reminded "the Bears started 7-1 right?" It's hard to remember that. Now at 8-5, they need a higher sense of urgency and they need to make plays at critical times. Sunday they just didn't.

Devin Hester said it best when he said, "as receivers we pride ourselves on being that spark, and making the plays. We just didn't today." Hester was among those who dropped passes that would have been touchdowns. Alshon Jeffery did the same. Two scores for a team that isn't right now. Those were huge.

So were injuries. Namely to Jay Cutler who left after getting crunched in the fourth quarter. He said his neck is stiff and started to spasm, so he'll have to take it day by day. So will the Bears. As Kelvin Hayden told me, "It's a perception thing, we haven't been playing well, but things can be turned around quickly. These next three games are critical."

At a time when the Bears January plans hinge on this, the games are more than critical. It's a three game season and the window of opportunity is closing for a Bears team that has no choice but to win them all.

INJURIES MOUNTING: Robbie Gould strained his left calf in warm ups. He kicked extra points but kept the Bears from attempting any field goals.

Shea McClellin didn't finish the game with a knee injury. Henry Melton banged up his shoulder but did return. Special teamers Craig Steltz (chest) and Sherrick McMannis (knee) also missed the final quarter of action. Along with Cutler's stiff neck. 'Tis the season.

BRIAN URLACHER: Brian Urlacher admitted how hard it was to watch the team struggle Sunday and not help. He complimented the defense, namely Nick Roach for his leadership in 54's absence. But Adrian Peterson is a beast and Urlacher acknowledged that. He said there weren't a lot of adjustments that could have been made, but the defense did well in settling down. He did say he's getting better and still plans to play again this season. But after Sunday, that window of opportunity may be closing too.

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