CHICAGO - Brett Favre got the Minnesota Vikings to overtime. The Chicago Bears got the victory. And the Eagles got one step closer to nailing down the No. 2 playoff seed in the NFC playoffs.
The Vikings lost again last night, beaten by the Bears, 36-30, when Jay Cutler tossed a 39-yard strike to Devin Aromashodu. Minnesota fell for the third time in four games, and the defeat gave the New Orleans Saints homefield advantage throughout the NFC playoffs.
Playing for the first time since the dustup between Favre and coach Brad Childress became public, the Vikings' late rally wasn't enough. Despite Favre's stunning, fourth-down, game-tying touchdown pass to Sidney Rice with 16 seconds left in regulation, Cutler threw the game-winner just over 9 minutes left in overtime.
The Vikings' loss means the Eagles will get the No. 2 seed and a bye in the NFC playoffs with a win at Dallas Sunday.
Favre's pass to a leaping Rice capped a 68-yard touchdown drive and tied the game at 30-30.
Chicago's Robbie Gould had a chance to win it on the first possession of the overtime but missed a 45-yard field goal wide right.
The Bears (5-10) took advantage a few minutes later, though, when Hunter Hillenmeyer knocked the ball away from Peterson and Nick Roach recovered. Cutler found an open Aromashodu, who had beaten Antoine Winfield, and the Bears won for just the third time in 11 games.
"D.A., he's been coming along," Cutler said. "He had some injuries early on . . . I'm happy for him."
Favre has never led a team to a win after trailing by 17 or more points, falling to 0-43 in such situations. The Bears were up 23-6 in the third quarter and the Vikings were able to tie it twice.
The Vikings started 10-1 behind a resurgent Favre, but have tailed off since. Favre had a good game after three mediocre performances, completing 26 of 40 passes for 321 yards and two touchdowns. Peterson ran for 94 yards and two scores, but the Vikings simply couldn't pull this one out.
Cutler looked more like the player the Bears thought they were getting than the one who's been racking up interceptions at an alarming rate. He was 20 of 35 for 273 yards, although he did throw his league-leading 26th interception.
"It's fun," Cutler said of outdueling Favre. "He got me in Denver. I got him when he was in New York . . . It was a good game."