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Minnesota's long streak of games with a TD snapped

11/26/2001

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Buddy Ryan and his "46" defense are long
gone, but the Chicago Bears are back to their old ways: not budging
when they don't have the ball.

Chicago's defense held the Minnesota Vikings' often-potent
offense without a touchdown Sunday night in a 13-6 victory.

"The Bears' tradition is the most storied in NFC history,"
said quarterback Jim Miller. "Guys are trying to bring that
back."

It was the first time in 98 regular-season games the Vikings did
not get into the end zone. The last time the Vikings went without a
touchdown was last January -- a 41-0 defeat to the New York Giants in the
NFC title game.

Daunte Culpepper, held without a touchdown pass for the first time this
season, completed 26 of 46 passes for 209 yards and an
interception.

"Their defense is not a pushover," Culpepper said. "They have
some great players. But we just weren't clicking."

The NFC Central-leading Bears improved to 8-2 for the first time
since 1991 as the Vikings (4-6) fell four games back. Chicago last
swept Minnesota in 1995, the only year the Vikings haven't made the
playoffs in coach Dennis Green's 10 seasons.

Minnesota's futility came six days after playing one of its most
complete offensive games in a 28-16 Monday night victory over the
Giants.

"They played better defense than we saw last week, but you
can't win against anybody just scoring six points," Green said.

With rookie Anthony Thomas inactive because of a sore hamstring,
James Allen rushed 27 times for 107 yards, 80 in the first half. He
helped the Bears grind down the clock after the Vikings pulled
to 13-6 on Gary Anderson's 21-yard field goal with 3:17 left.

Reserve Leon Johnson's 34-yard burst through a big hole in the
middle to the Vikings' 4 set up his 1-yard scoring plunge in the
second quarter that gave Chicago a 7-0 lead.

The worst part for Minnesota was wasting a fine performance by
its oft-exploited defense.

Miller completed 10 of 21 passes for only 97 yards after
throwing three touchdown passes to Marty Booker last week against Tampa
Bay.

"We don't worry about what the offense is doing," said Vikings
linebacker Jim Nelson. "It's not our responsibility."

But the Bears' defense was stingy, reminding the struggling
Vikings of those Ryan-led units on the dominant Bears teams of the
1980s.

"Anytime you're playing in the division, there's a lot of
familiarity," Green said. "They stopped us on a few series, and
we stopped them on a few series. But they took advantage on a few
series, and we did not."

Roosevelt Colvin wasn't quite ready to put the current bunch on
par with their predecessors.

"The defense of 1985, they won the Super Bowl," Colvin said.
"We have to wait until the end of the season to start comparing
things."

Randy Moss and Cris Carter, who each had 10 receptions last
Monday night against the Giants, combined for just 70 yards -- 45
for Carter and 25 for Moss, who had his hands on four balls that
fell incomplete.

Minnesota's second-to-last drive was a perfect snapshot of its
struggles. Culpepper's 23-yard pass to Byron Chamberlain gave
Minnesota a first down at the Chicago 12. After a drop by Moss and
another penalty, Culpepper found Harold Morrow for 14 yards to the
1.

Travis Prentice was stuffed on first-and-goal, and Culpepper was
stopped on a rollout on second down. He fumbled the next snap, and
Anderson had to come out to kick.

Rookie Michael Bennett had his best game of the year with 75
yards on 12 carries, but Culpepper continued to struggle as the
boos grew louder.

Anderson kicked a 43-yard field goal, his first attempt in eight
quarters, to pull the Vikings to 10-3 in the third quarter. But
facing a fourth-and-1 at the Chicago 46 late in the quarter,
Culpepper rumbled for a first down, but Moss was called for
holding, forcing another punt.

The Bears then moved up the field on passes up 25 and 26 yards
to David Terrell. Paul Edinger's 43-yard kick stretched Chicago's
lead back to 10.

His 29-yarder late in the second quarter gave the Bears a 10-0
halftime lead.

"It was kind of a sluggish game all around," Miller said.
"But a win is a win. It's nice knowing we can control our own
destiny."

Game notes
Culpepper's only two games as an NFL starter without a touchdown pass have come against Chicago. The other was Sept. 3, 2000. ...
The last time Chicago allowed a 100-yard rusher was against the
Vikings on Oct. 15, 2000, when the now-retired Robert Smith did it.
... The Vikings retired former center Mick Tingelhoff's No. 53
jersey, a week after doing the same for late offensive tackle Korey
Stringer.

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