The Minnesota Vikings and the Chicago Bears faced off under the Sunday night lights of the Hubert H. Humphry Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Vikings emerged victorious, 34-14, by edging out the Bears in every major statistical category.
Second year Vikings running back Adrian Peterson stole the show with his punishing running style and relentless motor. His 131-yard performance became his 13th 100-yard ground game.
This feat was only topped by a 99-yard touchdown bomb from Gus Frerotte to Bernard Berrian.
Matt Forte’s 96-yard rushing performance made him the fourth rookie to rush for 1,000 yards in Bears history.
Kyle Orton completed a dismal 11 of 29 pass attempts for 153 yards and two touchdowns.
Frerotte threw for 210 yards, going 16 for 25 and even rushing for a touchdown from one yard out.
After being relieved of his kick-return duties, Devin Hester made his presence felt in a different way. Kyle Orton found Hester a few yards downfield and the speedster turned a short dump into a 65- yard touchdown reception. This play sparked the Bears defense, but the offense did not have much else to say after that play.
Jared Allen paced the Minnesota defense with four tackles and three sacks. He was the only man in a purple suit that got to Kyle Orton throughout the whole competition. One of Allen’s tackles came at a tide-turning moment in the game.
Vikings defensive back Benny Sapp kept the Bears offense alive with a personal foul after Forte failed to convert on a third down outside of field goal range. This lead to a 26-yard run, which left Forte one yard short of a touchdown.
The Bears ran four straight plays from the one yard line and did not move an inch. Minnesota’s Allen came up with the final stop of Forte on fourth down.
The subsequent play was a bomb to former Bear Bernard Berrian, which covered the length of the field and quickly capitalized on the momentum shift that the defense just caused.
The Vikings rode that wave of momentum all the way until the clock had four zeros on it. The purple team did not let Matt Forte or any other Bears rusher in the endzone and intercepted three Orton passes.
The Bears defense looked impressive to start the game but once Minnesota took the lead Chicago seemed to be deflated. They only got to Frerotte twice throughout the contest and they let three different Vikings find the endzone.
It is normally the Bears defense that claims victory for this team, but they seemed to be no match for AP and a journeyman quarterback.
This game was a must-win for both squads but Minnesota came out on top of the game and on top of the NFC North. This victory gives the Vikings the tie-breaker over the second place Bears and a two-game cushion over the shaky Green Bay Packers.
This loss does not cast a pall over the Bears season at all. With Jacksonville, New Orleans and Green Bay left on the Chicago schedule the Bears have a good opportunity to play their way into this post-season.