Jay Cutler threw for 252 yards and a touchdown after missing five games with a thumb injury, rookie Jordan Howard ran for a career-high 153 yards and a TD, and the Chicago Bears stunned the Minnesota Vikings 20-10 on Monday night.
The Bears (2-6) sacked Sam Bradford five times while handing the NFC North-leading Vikings (5-2) their second straight loss.
Cutler was on target in his return from a sprained right thumb. Howard easily surpassed his previous high of 118 yards. Alshon Jeffery got his first touchdown reception of the season, and Chicago outgained Minnesota 403 yards to 258.
Cutler had not played since he exited against Philadelphia in the second game of the season. But with his future up in the air after coach John Fox wavered in his commitment to him as the starter, he made a triumphant return.
Cutler completed 20 of 31 passes, including an 11-yard touchdown to Jeffery early in the third that made it 20-3. Whether he quieted fans who thought the Bears were better off with Brian Hoyer is another issue. But that became a moot point when Hoyer broke his left arm last week in a Thursday night loss at Green Bay.
Howard had a 69-yard run, the longest for Chicago in seven years. Zach Miller added 88 yards receiving as the Bears stopped a three-game losing streak.
Bradford, playing behind a porous line, had another rough game after getting sacked six times the previous week against Philadelphia. He was 23 of 37 for 228 yards.
Matt Asiata ran for 42 yards with Jerick McKinnon sidelined by an ankle injury.
The Bears have a bye before going to Tampa Bay on Nov. 13.
>>Packers Cut RB Davis After Trading For Him
The Packers offense started to get back on track over the last two weeks, but the running game is still noticeably absent. Knile Davis wasn't the solution, and just 13 days after trading for him, the Packers have released the running back.
Green Bay gave up a late-round pick to the Chiefs in order to land Davis before Week 7, but he saw minimal action while playing with the Packers. And according to Mike Garafolo of the NFL Network, the compensation conditions of the trade ultimately were not met, so the Packers will not have to give up anything to the Chiefs.
Davis ran just two times for 1 yard against the Bears on Thursday night in Week 7 and then saw just three rushes for 4 yards against the Falcons in Week 8.