The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Sports

September 15, 2013

Late TD sends Vikings to 31-30 loss

CHICAGO — Jared Allen blamed the defense. Leslie Frazier put this one on his own shoulders.

Whether it was poor execution or poor coaching down the stretch, the Minnesota Vikings couldn't protect the lead in the closing minutes and left Soldier Field with a disheartening loss.

Jay Cutler came through just in time again, firing a 16-yard touchdown pass to Martellus Bennett with 10 seconds left to lead the Chicago Bears to a 31-30 victory Sunday.

"This defense is very capable of being a lights-out defense, and when you have a six-point lead with 2 minutes left and you have been dominating the offense in the second half, you got to lay it down and we didn't do that," Allen said. "For some reason, we were put on our heels."

Things were looking good for Minnesota after Blair Walsh kicked a 22-yard field goal to make it a six-point game with 3:15 remaining. Chicago took over at its 34, and Cutler went to work.

After leading the Bears back from an 11-point deficit to beat Cincinnati in the opener, he did it again — this time with a heavy rain falling.

A 23-yard pass to Bennett along the sideline put the ball on the 16. Cutler then spiked the ball because his tight end did not get out of bounds when he admittedly should have.

After an incompletion, Cutler hit a twisting Bennett in the front corner of the end zone with a pass to his back shoulder. Robbie Gould kicked the go-ahead extra point and Chicago (2-0) remained unbeaten under new coach Marc Trestman despite committing four turnovers.

While Allen's focus was on the defense, Frazier looked within afterward.

"There were some general things that I definitely could have done better in that situation to help our coaches, but I didn't and I have to do a better job in that situation," he said about the winning drive.

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