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Cutler returns, leads Bears past Browns

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Cleveland, OH (.com) - Jay Cutler had three touchdown passes, including two in the fourth quarter, to lead the Chicago Bears to a crucial 38-31 victory over the Cleveland Browns.

Cutler returned under center after missing the previous four games with a high left ankle sprain, with Josh McCown filling in admirably during his absence.

Chicago (8-6) went 2-2 without Cutler to stay in the thick of the NFC North race, with Sunday's win giving the team a half-game lead over Detroit, which hosts Baltimore on Monday night.

Should Detroit win, though, the Bears will find themselves in second place in the division due to a pair of losses to the Lions this season.

Cutler finished the game 22-for-31 for 265 yards with a pair of interceptions, while Matt Forte had 24 carries for 127 yards for Chicago, which has won three of the last four meetings with Cleveland.

Brandon Marshall, Alshon Jeffery and Earl Bennett each caught a Cutler touchdown pass, with Michael Bush adding a score on the ground and Zack Bowman taking an interception into the end zone.

Cleveland (4-10) continued its free-fall, as the team has dropped five straight and eight of nine to sit dead last in the AFC North.

Jason Campbell had a tough day under center, getting picked off twice and going just 23-for-39 for 273 yards with a late touchdown pass. Tashaun Gipson had two interceptions and returned one for a touchdown for the Browns, while T.J. Ward returned a fumble for a touchdown in the loss.

December 15, 2013, at 04:28 PM ET
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