CLEVELAND - Shaking off two first-half interceptions, Jay Cutler threw three touchdown passes in his first start since Nov. 10, leading the Chicago Bears to a 38-31 win over the Cleveland Browns on Sunday.

Cutler, who missed Chicago's previous four games with a sprained left ankle and reclaimed his starting job from Josh McCown earlier this week, threw a 4-yard TD pass to Earl Bennett with 5 minutes, 41 seconds left as the Bears (8-6) rallied in the second half and stayed in contention for a playoff spot.

Cutler finished 22 of 31 for 265 yards and validated first-year coach Marc Trestman's decision to stick with the not-always-popular veteran over McCown, who had played so well while filling in.

Trestman's choice didn't come without controversy. There were reports of division within Chicago's locker room, but on a brutally cold and blustery day in Cleveland, the Bears were united.

"The guys rallied around me," Cutler said. " . . . But this was the plan all along, and no one really flinched in our building."

Michael Bush's 40-yard TD run with 2:17 left sealed it for the Bears, who completed a four-game sweep of the AFC North and won their first road game since Nov. 4, when McCown led them to a win over Green Bay.

Bears 38, Browns 31

Chicago 0 10 7 21 - 38

Cleveland 3 7 14 7 - 31

First quarter

Cle-FG Cundiff 35, 7:26.

Second quarter

Chi-FG Gould 23, 12:55.

Cle-Gipson 44 interception return (Cundiff kick), 8:01.

Chi-Marshall 5 pass from Cutler (Gould kick), :24.

Third quarter

Chi-Bowman 43 interception return (Gould kick), 13:48.

Cle-Baker 2 run (Cundiff kick), 8:20.

Cle-Ward 51 fumble return (Cundiff kick), 3:40.

Fourth quarter

Chi-Jeffery 45 pass from Cutler (Gould kick), 10:59.

Chi-E.Bennett 4 pass from Cutler (Gould kick), 5:41.

Chi-Bush 40 run (Gould kick), 2:17.

Cle-Gordon 43 pass from Campbell (Cundiff kick), 1:02.

A: 71,513.

Chi   Cle

First downs 23   20

Total Net Yards 440   366

Rushes-yards 31-179   17-93

Passing 261   273

Punt Returns 1-21   0-0

Kickoff Returns 4-97   4-44

Interceptions Ret. 2-43   2-79

Comp-Att-Int 22-31-2   23-39-2

Sacked-Yards Lost 2-4   0-0

Punts 3-36.7   5-42.2

Fumbles-Lost 1-1   0-0

Penalties-Yards 7-40   9-90

Time of Possession 34:48   25:12

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

Rushing: Chicago, Forte 24-127, Bush 3-44, Cutler 3-11, Jeffery 1-(minus 3). Cleveland, Baker 8-38, Gray 2-30, Campbell 1-17, Ogbonnaya 5-7, Whittaker 1-1.

Passing: Chicago, Cutler 22-31-2-265. Cleveland, Campbell 23-39-2-273.

Receiving: Chicago, Marshall 6-95, M.Bennett 6-71, Jeffery 5-72, E.Bennett 4-23, Forte 1-4. Cleveland, Ogbonnaya 5-39, Little 4-68, Baker 4-46, Gordon 3-67, Cameron 3-23, Whittaker 2-4, Barnidge 1-17, Bess 1-9.

Missed Field Goals: None.