CHICAGO (Reuters) - Struggling Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler rose to the occasion to outduel veteran gunslinger Brett Favre in a thrilling 36-30 overtime victory over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday.
Cutler, who has underperformed since being acquired from the Denver Broncos in the off-season, lobbed a 39-yard touchdown pass to Devin Aromashodu with 9:15 left in the extra session to hand the Bears their biggest win of their season.
He produced three other touchdowns and threw for 273 yards as the Bears survived the Vikings' second-half fight-back and dented their hopes of a first-round bye in the playoffs.
Forty-year-old Favre finished with 321 yards and sparked the Vikings to 17 unanswered points in the second half, feeding a six-yard touchdown pass to Sidney Rice with 16 seconds left in regulation to tie the scores.
Minnesota rusher Adrian Peterson, whose fumble in overtime positioned the Bears at Minnesota's 39 for the eventual game-winning score, punched in a one-yard score to tie the game with 5:49 to go in the fourth.
Cutler responded just 54 seconds later, connecting with Earl Bennett on a 20-yard touchdown as Chicago went up 30-23.
Already having clinched the NFC North, the Vikings (11-4) would have earned a first-round bye with a win but instead crashed to their third loss in four games.
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