Behind solid protection and tweaked play-calling designed to get the ball out of his hands quickly, Bears quarterback Jay Cutler launched a 48-yard bomb to Devin Hester on the team’s third play from scrimmage for a touchdown. Cutler connected on 6 of 8 for 95 yards in the first quarter and a passer rating of 153.6.
The Bears outgained the Vikings in yardage 151 to 43 in the first quarter with running back Matt Forte reeling off 56 yards on just seven attempts. Forte’s 21-yard run with a Cedric Griffin horsecollar-tackle penalty tacked onto the end of it set up Marion Barber’s 3-yard burst that gave the Bears a 16-0 advantage.
Stout defense netted Chicago’s other points in the quarter. Making his NFL debut, rookie defensive tackle Stephen Paea dropped Vikings quarterback Donovan McNabb in the end zone for a safety with 6:59 left in the quarter.
Paea had been a healthy scratch in the club’s previous five outings, but became a part of the defensive line rotation due to Matt Toeaina sustaining a sprained posterior cruciate ligament a week prior in the Bears' loss to the Detroit Lions.