Lance Briggs became only the fourth Bear since 1971 with 1,000 tackles for Chicago in Monday’s 36-30 overtime victory over the Minnesota Vikings. Briggs came into the game with 998 career tackles. He had six tackles Monday, including nailing Adrian Peterson for a 1-yard loss on Minnesota’s second play of the game. He leads the team with 133 tackles this year.
Lance Briggs became only the fourth Bear since 1971 with 1,000 tackles for Chicago in Monday’s 36-30 overtime victory over the Minnesota Vikings.
Briggs came into the game with 998 career tackles. He had six tackles Monday, including nailing Adrian Peterson for a 1-yard loss on Minnesota’s second play of the game. He leads the team with 133 tackles this year.
Mike Singletary (1,487), Brian Urlacher (1,410) and Gary Fencik (1,102) are the only Bears with more tackles than Briggs in the last 40 years.
Hillenmeyer steps up
Jay Cutler threw four TD passes, Devin Aromashodu had catches of 33 and 39 yards in overtime and Danieal Manning had kickoff returns of 57 and 59 yards to set up touchdowns. Yet coach Lovie Smith singled out Hunter Hillenmeyer stripping Adrian Peterson after a 16-yard pass as the biggest play of the game.
“We needed to make a play,” Smith said. “Against possibly the best player in the game, Hunter Hillenmeyer getting the ball out, that play was as big as any.”
It was the third time in two games Hillenmeyer forced Peterson to fumble this year, all by punching the ball out from behind. Hillenmeyer said he had to do something after not coming up with two possible interceptions on Minnesota’s game-tying TD drive in the final minute of regulation.
“It shouldn’t have had to go to overtime. I felt terrible. I should have had two picks on the last drive,” Hillenmeyer said. “Those are plays we always feel we should make. It feels good to redeem myself from when I could have ended the game earlier.
New punter doesn’t play
The Bears picked up punter Richmond McGee on Monday because of a groin injury to Brad Maynard, but left him inactive for the game. Maynard was his usual self, punting twice in the first half for an average of 46.5 yards.
Mark Anderson started at right defensive end in place of Adewale Ogunleye, who is on injured reserve, and pressured Brett Favre into a third-down incompletion in the first half. Devin Aromashodu started again for Devin Hester (calf) and had three first-half catches for a game-high 62 yards. Craig Steltz and Josh Bullocks started in place of injured safeties Al Afalava (knee) and Kevin Payne (ankle).
The Vikings played without Pro Bowl run-stuffing defensive tackle Pat Williams (elbow).
Knox, Tillman injured
Johnny Knox, second in the NFL in kick return average and only the sixth Bear with 500 yards receiving as a rookie, was carted off the field with an injured ankle after a 31-yard kickoff return to Chicago’s 40 in the third quarter. Cornerback Charles Tillman was carted off early in the fourth quarter with a rib injury. Corey Graham replaced Tillman.
Defensive tackle Israel Idonije suffered a minor foot injury in the fourth quarter.
Assistant sports editor Matt Trowbridge can be reached at: 815-987-1383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.