CHICAGO – While the Minnesota Vikings’ season continued to spiral out of control, the Chicago Bears might have saved theirs on Sunday.

Brian Urlacher had two sacks to lead the Bears to a 28-3 victory over a Vikings team reeling after allegations of drunkenness and sexual misbehavior on a charter cruise last week.

Charles Tillman and Chris Harris each had an interception, and Thomas Jones rushed for 89 yards and two touchdowns on 23 carries as the Bears (2-3) snapped a two-game losing streak. Jones, questionable after stretching a ligament in his right knee last week at Cleveland, saw his streak of 100-yard games end.

Despite Jones’ injury, rookie Cedric Benson remained in a limited role, with three carries for two yards.

Kyle Orton completed 16 of 25 passes for 117 yards with an interception and two touchdown passes, both to tight end Desmond Clark.

Minnesota’s Daunte Culpepper was 26-of-48 for 237 yards and two interceptions as the Vikings fell to 1-4. Former Bear Paul Edinger kicked a 23-yard field goal in the first half after missing a 52-yarder, but had a 32-yarder blocked early in the third quarter.

The Bears led 7-3 at halftime despite being outgained 182 yards to 87, driving 49 yards late in the half for the game’s first touchdown. Orton hit a lunging Clark – who reached across the goal line before his knee hit the ground – along the right sideline for a 3-yard score with 37 seconds left in the half.

After Jones lost a fumble on the first drive of the second half, Alfonso Boone blocked Edinger’s 32-yarder.

Midway through the third quarter, Tillman intercepted a pass along the sideline and returned it 55 yards to the Vikings’ 3. That set up a 2-yard pass from Orton to Clark that made it 14-3.

The Vikings’ Troy Williamson had Tillman beat on that interception, but Culpepper threw behind his receiver. From there, things just got worse for Minnesota.

Keith Newman sacked Orton for a 9-yard loss and forced a fumble, which E.J. Henderson returned for a 25-yard touchdown – only to have the play negated by an offsides call against teammate Kevin Williams.

The lead grew to 21-3 when Jones broke for a 24-yard touchdown run.

The Vikings drove 59 yards to the Bears’ 18 on the game’s opening possession – with Mewelde Moore gaining 25 on a run through the middle. But with Edinger attempting a 36-yard field goal, Brad Johnson bobbled the snap and threw an incomplete pass.

Edinger, booed loudly, was short and wide right on a 52-yard field-goal attempt on the second play of the second quarter.

Orton struggled early on while his receivers struggled to get open.

After Edinger missed that 52-yarder, Orton slipped trying to hand off to Jones near midfield, and Minnesota’s Corey Chavous recovered. The Vikings drove to the Bears’ 2, but a false start by Jermaine Wiggins and hold by Adam Goldberg put the ball on the 17. Minnesota settled for a 23-yard field goal with 6:55 left in the half.

AP-ES-10-16-05 1647EDT


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