The following is a live play-by-play blog of the Bears-Vikings NFL game from Minneapolis, Minn. on Dec. 20, 2010. All times are Eastern Standard Time.
11:43 pm: Bears win 40-14, gain NFC North Division. This might be Bret Favre's final NFL game. Wet snow falls. Favre hugs and congratulates Cutler. Vikings have two final games on the road.
11:42 pm: Webb passes to Shaincoe as time runs out. Bears recover ball on another Vikings turnover.
11:40 pm: Bears players congratulate coach Smith for impending victory.
11:38 pm: Bears running back Garrett Wolfe runs to 33. 2-minute warning issued.
11:37 pm: Pass intercepted by Bears Charles Tillman who runs back to Vikings' 36.
11:35 pm: Webb scrambles and makes pass play. 1st down. Wenn throws it away.
11:33 pm: Gearhart carries for few yards. Webb makes another incomplete pass.
11:31 pm: Urlacher intercepts pass, runs to Vikings 10 yard line! But penalty on Bears calls it back.
11:30 pm: Vikings get nowhere as minutes run out amidst wet snowfall. Webb runs for 1st down into Bears territory. Wenn completes pass to Shiancoe.
11:25 pm: Booker returns kickoff to his 22.
11:23 pm: Bears running again stopped. Gould kicks field goal, Bears 40-Vikings 14.
11:22 pm: Forte struggles for about 14 yards. Taylor gets half yard.
11:20 pm: Davis drops pass from Cutler.
11:18 pm: Webb completes pass to Gearhart. Webb's next pass picked off by Bears' Chris Harris. Bears ball. Forte loses yard. 15-yard penalty called on Vikings, automatic 1st down.
11:16 pm: This is only Favre's second losing season.
11:15 pm: Webb throws incomplete pass. Favre in standing on sidelines watching game.
11:13 pm: Bears punt, Vikings take ball at their 32.
11:11 pm: Bears coach Lovie Smith is less than 15 minutes away from his 3rd division title. Cutler is sacked.
11:10 pm: Chester Taylor struggles for a few yards. Taylor loses some yardage.
11:08 pm: Turnover by Gearhart gives Bears the ball.
11:06 pm: Webb passes to Harvin at 20! Webb then throws incomplete pass.
11:05 pm: Minnesota state government has large budget shortfall, new stadium for Vikings will be tough to get.
11:04 pm: Webb passes to Shiancoe for 1 yard line.
11:03 pm: Booker returns kick-off to enemy's 35 yard line.
11:00 pm: Gould kicks field goal. Bears 37-14.
10:59 pm: Pass to wide open Knox bobbled away. 4th down.
10:58 pm: Taylor loses a few yards. Minute left in 3rd.
10:57 pm: Cutler throws incomplete pass into end zone. Defense penalized for roughing passer, 15-yard penalty. Taylor runs for a few yards.
10:55 pm: Chester Taylor loses a yard or two. Cutler passes for 13-yard gain. Taylor gains one yard or so.
10:53 pm: Webb again throws incomplete pass to Shiancoe. Vikings punt to Hester who is stopped at his 49.
10:52 pm: Webb goes maybe a yard. Webb throws for incomplete pass.
10:49 pm: Booker catches kick off at his 13 yard line.
10:47 pm: Cutler passes to Rashied Davis for touchdown!! Gould makesd extra point, Bears lead 34-14. Davis came from Arena League.
10:46 pm: Forte runs for 10 yards to about Vikes' 9.
10:45 pm: Forte gains six yards. Cutler makes 11-yard pass play.
10:44 pm: Cutler passes to Johnny Knox on slant route, 1st down. Forte loses a yard or two as Vikings blitz.
10:43 pm: Cutler passes to Hester, just short of 1st down.
10:42 pm: Vikes kick off, Bears' Daniel Manning runs it back to his 47. Good field position for Bears.
10:40 pm: Vikes score extra point. Bears 27-14.
10:37 pm: Webb runs in for touchdown after play-action fake! Bears 27-13. Bears safety Major Wright is down, shaken up.
10:36 pm: Gearhart again gets nothing. Webb throws to Harvin for 1st down.
10:35 pm: Gearhart goes nowhere. Webb throws bomb for incompletion. Penalty called om Bears, first down for Minnesota.
10:34 pm: Bears kick off to Booker who returns it to Vikings' 32.
10:31 pm: Bears make extra point, lead 27-7.
10:30 pm: Devin Hester returns punt for touchdown for 64 yards! 14th career punt return, an NFL record!
10:29 pm: Under pressure Webb bobbles ball, but Vikings recover. Vikes punt.
10:28 pm: Webb completes pass.
10:27 pm: Harvin goes nowhere. It's confirmed Favre is definitely out of the game.
10:26 pm: Booker returns kick off to Vikes' 33 yard line.
10:22 pm: Cutler throws incomplete pass. Cutler again throws it away. Hester's return is wasted. Gould hits field goal, Bears lead 20-7.
10:21 pm: Forte gets no gain on run.
10:21 pm: 3rd quarter begins. Vikings punt to Bears' Devin Hester who runs all the way to Vikings 6 yard line!
10:20 pm: To honor Vikings 50th anniversary, great former Vikings are celebrated, including Ahmad Rashad, Cris Carter, Carl Eller, Alan Page and former coach Bud Grant who got biggest ovation.
10:10 pm: Analysts speculating that Favre's career may finally have ended.
10:06 pm: On 4th down, Webb throws imcomplete pass. First half ends; Bears 17-Vikings 7.
10:05 pm: Webb is sacked. As time keeps running out, Webb makes incomplete pass.
10:03 pm: Webb is a rookie from Alabama. Vikes take time-out.
10:02 pm: Webb runs for 5 yards. Webb is then sacked at 45. 30 seconds left in half.
10:01 pm: Cutler might be hurt.
10:00 pm: Webb runs out of play. Webb passes for 1st down.
9:59 pm: Webb passes to Harvin, short of 1st down.
9:58 pm: Cutler's pass intercepted by Allen who brings it back to Bears 36.
9:57 pm: Cutler passes for touchdown, but penalty cancels it.
9:56 pm: Two-minute warning.
9:55 pm: Taylor goes nowhere. Vikes Williams has head injury, likely victim of hard frozen field.
9:54 pm: Chester Taylor runs to 31.
9:53 pm: Cutler completes pass to Olson at 37; field is skating rink. Fan runs onto field, taken away by security.
9:50 pm: Forte runs for another first down to Vikings' 42. Madieu Williams of Vikes is down, shaken up.
9:49 pm: Forte runs for a 1st down to 47 yard line.
9:48 pm: Cutler passes to Forte for 5 yards.
9:46 pm: Gearhart runs about 5 yards short of 1st down. Vikings forced to punt, goes out of bounds.
9:46 pm: Webb is sacked by Bears blitz.
9:45 pm: Vikes assessed five-yard penalty.
9:44 pm: Snow has turned to drizzle. Vikings take over at their 22. Joe Webb is the new Minnesota quarterback for injured Favre.
9:43 pm: Cutler passes for touchdown to Devin Hester! Gould makes extra point. Bears lead 17-7.
9:42 pm: Bears run for no gain.
9:42 pm: Cutler passes for another first down to Earl Bennett.
9:41 pm: Forte gains a few yards up the middle. Favre fell on his head, his return to game is doubtful.
9:40 pm: Cutler passes to Olson for first down.
9:39 pm: Forte goes nowhere.
9:38 pm: Forte breaks through for 14-yard gain.
9:37 pm: Cutler throws long incomplete pass. Favre has hurt his shoulder.
9:34 pm: Vikings punt, Bears take possession. Favre is trying to recuperate on sidelines. Analysts wondering if that was last play of Favre's career.
9:32 pm: Favre is blitzed and tackled for a loss. Favre is shaken up and attended by Vikings medical staff. Favre is sacked by Cory Wooten, his first career sack.
9:32 pm: Gearhart runs for three or four yards.
9:31 pm: Julius Peppers deflects another pass from Favre. Almost a second interception.
9:30 pm: Favre passes to Sidney Rice for a first down.
9:29 pm: This is Bret Favre's 298th career start, an NFL record for any position.
9:27 pm: Under pressure from defense, Cutler backpedals and just gets rid of ball. Bears punt. Vikings return to their 34 yard line.
9:26 pm: Forte gains about 3 yards.
9:25 pm: Bears Forte runs about 5 yards.
9:24 pm: Vikings punt, Bears take possession at their 25. Weather gets wetter.
9:23 pm: Vikings are celebrating their 50th anniversary.
9:21 pm: Gearhart again runs a few yards. Vikings take time-out.
9:20 pm: First quarter ends.
9:19 pm: Gearhart runs for 2 yards.
9:19 pm: Favre gains 6 yards on pass play.
9:18 pm: Gearhart runs for 20 yards!
9:17 pm: Bears kick off to Booker who calls it in end-zone.
9:15 pm: Gould makes extra point; Bears 10, Vikings 7.
9:14 pm: Cutler passes a bomb to Knox who scores touchdown! A 67-yard pass play!
9:13 pm: Bears called for second straight offensive penalty. 1st and 30.
9:12 pm: Vikings punt. Bears take possession at the 45.
9:11 pm: Favre bobbles snap, Vikes have to punt.
9:11 pm: Favre throws to Shiancoe to 31 yard line.
9:10 pm: Gearhart gains only about one yard. 2nd and 19.
9:08 pm: Gearhart gets nowhere, but offense hit with 10-yard penalty.
9:05 pm: Vikings' Lorenzo Booker returns kickoff to his 30.
9:04 pm: Bears kicker Robbie Gould kicks a 9-yard field goal. Vikings 7, Bears 3.
9:03 pm: Pass by Cutler to Kevin Knox is incomplete.
9:02 pm: Cutler passes for gain to his tight end. Then running back Forte makes no gain.
9:01 pm: Favre's pass is deflected and intercepted by Julius Peppers. Bears take over deep in Vikings territory.
9:00 pm: Gearhart again runs for no gain.
8:59 pm: Favre's pass is intercepted, but penalty flag is called on defense.
8:57 pm: Gearhart runs for no gain.
8:56 pm: Bears punt, Vikings take possession at their 12 yard line.
8:55 pm: Cutler's pass to Bennett is incomplete, Bears forced to punt.
8:53 pm: Cutler takes time-out.
8:52 pm: Cutler passes to wide receiver Earl Bennett who drops ball, but Bears recover.
8:51 pm: Cutler passes successfully, short of first down. Cutler's next pass is deflected by Viking defender, incomplete.
8:51 pm: Forte goes nowhere.
8:50 pm: Bears running back Forte runs about 6 yards.
8:49 pm: It is snowing. Viking kick off, Bears returner brings ball to his 34.
8:48 pm: Favre passes to Percy Harvin who runs for touchdown! Vikes placekicker makes the extra point. Vikings score on first possession. Vikings 7, Bears 0..
8:46 pm: Favre makes successful 11-yard pass to Bears 31.
8:45 pm: Rookie Gearhart on third down gets first down onto Bears territory.
8:43 pm: Toby Gearhart runs about three yards.
8:42 pm: Vikings win coin toss and will receive. Lorenzo Booker returns the kickoff to his 40-yard line.
8:41 pm: Stadium is only three-quarters full.
8:38 pm: Viking players were concerned about condition of field; they are wearing shoes with rubber cleats rather than steal for better traction.
8:36 pm: Minnesota fans waited in line as early as 10 am this morning for first-come, first-serve tickets.
8:34 pm: Bears offense has been inconsistent this year, with a porous offensive line.
8:32 pm: Favre takes the field to wild cheers from the fans.
8:30 pm: Six out of eight ESPN analysts are picking the Bears to win tonight.
8:28 pm: The wind-chill temperature is below zero.
8:26 pm: Favre, in his 20th season, has had a difficult year, including a losing team, a fired coach, injuries, the end of his playing streak, and the distraction of a league investigation into his alleged harrassment of a female employee of his former team, the New York Jets.
8:23 pm: In his career, Favre has been 23-12 against the Bears; he is 19-18 on Monday Night Football games.
8:19 pm: Bears linebacker Pisa Tinoisamoa will be inactive for tonight's game.
8:12 p.m.: Favre is going for his 20th victory on Monday Night Football. This could be the final home game of a Hall of Fame career.
8:10 p.m: Cutler's road performance has improved dramatically from last year. He's been 4-1 in away games this year, versus 2-6 last season.
8:08 p.m: Jay Cutler starts at quarterback for the Bears.
8:06 p.m.: With Adrian Peterson out, Favre will likely throw a lot of passes. After all those years in the brutal cold of Lambeau Field in Green Bay, the frigid, snowy weather should not bother Favre.
8:03 a.m.: Bears can wrap up the NFC North Division tonight. Defensive stalwarts Julius Peppers and Brian Urlacher are at full strength.
8:01 p.m.: Favre didn't practice on Saturday.
7:58 p.m.: The Vikings have also deactivated running back Adrian Peterson. The game is being held outdoors at TCF Bank Stadium, the home of the Univ. of Minnesota Golden Gophers because the Vikings' normal home, The Metrodome, was damaged by the huge snowstorm that hit the Midwest last week. Favre has said he doesn't expect to play next season, though he's made these hints of retirement many times before.
7:54 p.m.: The big (and surprising) pre-game news is that the Vikings have activated Brett Favre and he will start as quarterback. Favre missed last week's game against the Giants due to a sprained throwing arm. That missed game ended Favre's record of starting 297 straight regular season games.