Bears vs. Vikings: Adrian Peterson, Defense Power Vikings to Big NFCN Win

Andrew GardaFeatured ColumnistDecember 9, 2012

The Minnesota Vikings did what they needed to do to win this NFC North matchup with the Chicago Bears, 21-14: put forth a strong defensive effort, minimize Christian Ponder's mistakes and run Adrian Peterson into the ground.

Let's put aside the continued unimpressive play of Ponder and focus on the spectacular effort of the defense.

Its propensity to miss tackles in the backfield (as well as everywhere else) is still troubling, but it was lucky it didn't hurt it too often and was offset by tremendous pressure on Jay Cutler.

For all that, Cutler had no issues getting the ball to Brandon Marshall, who the Vikings had no real answer for. Alshon Jeffery, fresh off an injury, came back and had a strong day too.

However, Adrian Peterson lit up the Bears early on in the game, and that allowed the Vikings to lean on their defense and keep the ball out of Ponder's hands.

He still had his moments, though. Ponder was picked off on a long bomb he under-threw by a huge margin. He was once again scatter-shot all day—some passes looked very good; some passes and decisions looked awful. 

Ponder also had a near-perfectly thrown ball go off Devin Aromashodu's shoulder pads. It was a day that highlighted the up-and-down nature of Ponder and the receiver's seasons.

The day truly belonged to Adrian Peterson, though, as he moved that much closer to the 2,000-yard mark, which would be a wonderful capper to a spectacular season.

Even when the Bears slowed Peterson down, he was able to gain enough ground to keep the chains moving.

With the Bears heading to Green Bay next week and the Vikings taking on a beatable St. Louis Rams team, the Vikings' playoff hopes are still very much alive for at least another week.

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