Rapid Reaction: Vikings 36, Bears 10

MINNEAPOLIS -- Chicago is cooked and Minnesota is on fire. That’s what we can safely conclude after the Vikings overpowered the Bears in what once seemed destined to be a key NFC North matchup.

The loss dropped the Bears to 4-7 and to the nether, nether regions of the NFC wild-card race. It’s hard to imagine they were once 3-1. Three first-half turnovers destroyed any chance the Bears had Sunday, and it now seems certain they will miss the playoffs for the third year in a row.

The Vikings, meanwhile, won by double digits for the fourth consecutive game. I found it interesting that they opened the game passing and really never stopped, marking the full evolution of quarterback Brett Favre from being a caretaker to carrying the Vikings offense. I’ll delve into that development in more detail after the game.

For now, the Vikings will eagerly await the result of Monday night’s showdown between New Orleans and New England. A Saints loss would bring them back to a tie with the Vikings for the NFC’s best record. More in a bit.