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.