Peterson, late FG in OT lift Vikes past Bears
MINNEAPOLIS — In a game neither team was determined to win, Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson decided to put the issue to rest.
Peterson finished with 211 yards, including nine carries for 51 yards in overtime of the Vikings 23-20 victory over the slumping Chicago Bears at Mall of America Field.
He made history and, in the process, forced a victory upon the Vikings, who were in overtime for the second consecutive game. His three runs for 26 yards on the game’s final drive set up kicker Blair Walsh’s 34-yard field goal with 1:47 left in the OT session.
Playing against the league’s worst run defense, Peterson had his seventh career game of 100 or more yards against the Bears. He passed 10,000 career rushing yards, a milestone he cleared with a twisting, turning, 19-yard run in the fourth quarter on a touchdown drive that pulled the Vikings within 20-17.
“It really means a lot,” said Peterson of the milestone.
He took pains to credit linemen who have helped him through the years.
“Matt Birk, Steve Hutchinson, Bryant McKinnie, the guys from this year. Just to be in this elite group, it’s truly a blessing,” he said. “God has really blessed me to be surrounded by some great guys to help me get to that goal. I sit here and I’m just humbled.”
Peterson, who has 10,057 yards, achieved the milestone in his 101st game. Only two running backs accomplished the achievement faster: Eric Dickerson did it in 91 games, Jim Brown in 98.
And it was barely enough in a game filled with big plays, big days and big mistakes.
Bears wideout Alshon Jeffery had a career-high 249 receiving yards with two third-quarter touchdowns. The first was an 80-yarder from Josh McCown on the second offensive play of the second half.
The second was a leaping 46-yarder over cornerback Chris Cook that gave Chicago a 20-10 lead and got cornerback Chris Cook tossed for bumping an official while arguing for an offensive pass interference call.
McCown had 355 passing yards, two touchdowns and a 114.9 passer rating. Bears running back Matt Forte had 120 yards on 23 carries.
Vikings quarterback Matt Cassel, who entered the game in the third quarter after Christian Ponder was treated for a head injury, threw for 243 yards and led three scoring drives.
Still, it took almost a full overtime to settle. Both teams had a chance to win it.
But Walsh’s 39-yard field goal with 8:04 left was nullified by fullback Rhett Ellison’s facemask penalty. Walsh missed from 57 yards two plays later. Chicago took the ball near midfield and drove to the Minnesota 32, but Robbie Gould’s 47-yard attempt went wide right.
The loss, the second straight for the Bears (6-6) pushed them a game behind Detroit in the NFC North. The Lions need to win three of their last four games for their first division title in 20 years. Minnesota, which tied the Packers in Green Bay last week, improved to 3-8-1).