Continued from page 1

With a black cap pulled past his eyebrows, Favre grimaced as he put on an oversized purple coat and got ready to watch the rest of the game. Rookie Joe Webb took over, scoring on a 13-yard scramble to the edge of the end zone to cut the lead to 27-14, but the Bears had their way after putting perhaps the final seal on Favre’s storied 20-year career.

Favre repeatedly has said this will be his final season and the Vikings, long out of the playoff race, have just two games left.

The Bears were playing their second straight snow-globe-style game, actually, eager to erase the taste of last week’s blowout loss at Soldier Field to the New England Patriots.

They certainly got that done.

Afterthoughts in a division featuring Favre and the reigning champion Vikings plus a dangerous Green Bay team, the Bears didn’t buy into the doubts. They’ve caught several opponents at the right time, including the banged-up Vikings. With Cutler playing better, Hester back in his super-rookie form and the defense relatively healthy again, however, the Bears are feeling just fine.

The Bears lost seven of their previous eight games at Minnesota, where they’re usually subjected to the trapped noise under the Metrodome roof. The Vikings lost that advantage in the move to the fresh, frigid air, an atmosphere the Bears are sure used to, but the fans were fired up by the novelty of outdoor football’s return — 29 years to the day of Minnesota’s last game at Metropolitan Stadium.

With general-admission seating, customers braved the cold in parkas, snowmobile suits and ski caps, celebrating touchdowns with snowball throws and cheering their favorite players from the past as they were introduced at halftime.

Dozens of workers the massaged the field before the game to make it as playable as possible, with machines pushing snow across the yard lines and into the corners of the brick-lined walls. Crews gently rolled off the tarp before warmups while the flakes kept flying.

Players from both teams expressed concerns this week about the safety of the turf. Vikings punter Chris Kluwe posted on Twitter after Sunday’s walkthrough his comparison of the surface to “concrete.” He predicted a “trainwreck” and later said he was asked to stop tweeting by the team.

The temperature at kickoff was 23 degrees, with a windchill of 9, and the field was slippery and hard. The snow tapered off after the field was cleared for warmups, but it picked back up toward halftime and kept falling with the mercury. The attendance was announced at 40,504.