Peterson gets Vikings out quick in win over Bears

    2012-12-10 04:15

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) - The Metrodome roof held up just fine during Minnesota's latest heavy snowstorm.

It's the Chicago Bears who seem to be collapsing under the weight of December football.

Adrian Peterson rushed for 154 yards and two touchdowns and Harrison Smith returned an interception for a score to lead the Vikings to a 21-14 victory over the freefalling Bears on Sunday.

Almost two years to the day that a huge snowstorm felled the big white dome and forced the Bears-Vikings game to move across town to the University of Minnesota's stadium, another dose of wet snow came down as the Vikings prepared to host their division rivals. No problem this time around, for the roof or Peterson. The resilient running back ripped off a 51-yard run on the first play of the game and got the Vikings (7-6) out to a 14-0 lead before the first quarter was half over en route to a desperately needed victory.

``I think they'll look at the standings tomorrow and see that we're still right in the thick of it, just like we were when this week began,'' Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said. ``For us, every game following will be like a playoff game.''

When the Bears (8-5) look at the standings on Monday, they will be a game behind the Packers, who beat Detroit, but still be ahead of Minnesota. It just didn't feel that way when they hobbled out of the stadium on Sunday afternoon. They were 7-1 and in prime position to win the NFC North at the season's midpoint, but have lost four of their last five games and seem to get a different key player injured every week.

This time it was quarterback Jay Cutler, who was crunched on a high-low hit by Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen in the fourth quarter. He finished the drive, but did not return for the final four minutes because of a neck injury. He was 22 of 44 for 260 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions.

With Brian Urlacher out indefinitely with an injured right hamstring and cornerback Tim Jennings missing the game because of a shoulder injury, the Bears are bruised and battered, to go along with beaten.

``Everybody has injuries. That's part of this league,'' defensive end Julius Peppers said. ``We're going to have to play through that. But obviously some of our better players are down. We need guys to step up and play.''

Few have rebounded from an injury the way Peterson has. The relentless runner tore the ACL in his left knee late last season, yet somehow has been able to comeback better than ever. He topped 100 yards for the seventh straight game to give him 1,600 yards this season - putting that hallowed 2,000 yard mark well within reach with three games to go.

More importantly for the Vikings, he carried the ball a season-high 31 times, the kind of broad-shouldered performance the offense desperately needed with quarterback Christian Ponder continuing to struggle in the passing game. Ponder was 11 of 17 for just 91 yards and one ugly interception, a back-footed throw into triple coverage that Major Wright easily snagged just before halftime.

No matter. The beleaguered quarterback had Peterson and an opportunistic defense to lean on. Rookie cornerback Josh Robinson picked off Cutler in the first quarter and returned it 44 yards to set up Peterson's second touchdown of the day. Smith gave them some much-needed breathing room in the third quarter when Cutler floated a pass over Brandon Marshall's head and into Smith's arms. The rookie took it back 56 yards for a 21-7 lead that held up.

``In the situation we're in, we have to win out,'' said Peterson, whose Vikings finish up with games at St. Louis, at Houston and home against Green Bay. ``That's the focus we have.

Jason Campbell came on in relief of Cutler and threw a 16-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Marshall late in the game, but it was a little too late for the Bears, who trail the Packers by a game heading into a showdown with the division leaders in Chicago next week. The Bears then finish up on the road at Arizona and Detroit. Their margin for error is getting smaller by the day.

``It's frustrating,'' safety Chris Conte said. ``We've had some injuries, but ultimately we have to come out and play better.''

Marshall had 10 catches for 160 yards, Alshon Jeffery had three catches for 57 yards and a touchdown and Matt Forte rushed for 85 yards on 13 carries for the Bears.

The late-season swoon is a familiar one under coach Lovie Smith, who fell to 15-18 in the final four games of a season. Last season, they lost five straight games after a 7-3 start and finished 8-8 to miss the playoffs.

``I'm just thinking about us getting back on a winning streak next week,'' Smith said. ``We're disappointed in how some of those games have gone, all of the games, really. We're disappointed in this game, but when you're disappointed like that and you have your rival coming up back at home, we have to rally. We'll feel bad, but then it's all on Green Bay.''

NOTES: Jennings, the NFL leader in interceptions, said he thinks there's a chance he can play against the Packers. ``Later in the week, it was getting better each and every day,'' he said, ``but the coaches decided to let it heal, which is smart because I still have a little soreness.'' ... The Vikings had more yards from interception returns (100), than they did in passing offense (91). ... Adam Podlesh handled the kickoff duties for K Robbie Gould, who strained his left calf in warm-ups. Gould did kick the two extra points.


Online: http://pro32.ap.org/poll and http://twitter.com/AP-NFL

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Andre EllingtonDec 1 02:23p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (toe) is dealing with turf toe and is considered day-to-day, although his status for Week 13 is in doubt.

Kyle WilliamsDec 1 12:53p

Buffalo Bills DT Kyle Williams (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Tuesday, Dec. 1.

B. RoethlisbergerDec 1 12:33p

Updating earlier reports, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (head) was told his diagnosis was 'traumatic ocular migraine,' while head coach Mike Tomlin said Roethlisberger has a concussion.

Josh McCownDec 1 12:33p

Updating earlier reports, Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown (clavicle) possibly has a broken collarbone, which would likely end his season.

B. RoethlisbergerDec 1 12:23p

Updating a previous report, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (head) said he does not have a concussion and expects to practice Wednesday, Dec. 2, and play in Week 13 [ More ]

B. RoethlisbergerDec 1 12:23p

Updating an earlier report, Pittsburgh Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger (concussion) has a concussion and is in the concussion protocol, according to head coach Mike Tomlin.

Josh McCownDec 1 12:13p

Cleveland Browns QB Josh McCown (clavicle) was in a sling after the Week 12 game against the Baltimore Ravens Monday, Nov. 30, and he will have more tests Tuesday, [ More ]

Zach ErtzDec 1 12:13p

Philadelphia Eagles TE Zach Ertz (concussion) was cleared to practice Tuesday, Dec. 1, or the first time since suffering a concussion Nov. 22.

Terrelle PryorDec 1 12:03p

Free-agent WR Terrelle Pryor (Browns) will re-sign with the Cleveland Browns Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Karlos WilliamsDec 1 11:03a

Buffalo Bills RB Karlos Williams (shoulder) is in the locker room wearing a sling on his arm Tuesday, Dec. 1.

Sam BradfordDec 1 10:33a

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (shoulder) will practice Tuesday, Dec. 1, which will serve as a big test to determine his status for Week 13 against the New England [ More ]

Chris JohnsonDec 1 09:53a

Updating previous reports, Arizona Cardinals RB Chris Johnson (leg) could be out six to eight weeks with a broken tibia, according to sources.

Case KeenumNov 30 07:53p

St. Louis Rams QB Case Keenum (concussion) is still being evaluated for a concussion but is likely to be on the practice field in some capacity Wednesday, Dec. 2, [ More ]

Tyler EifertNov 30 07:23p

Cincinnati Bengals TE Tyler Eifert (neck) underwent tests on his injured neck, but they did not show any structural damage. His status for the Week 13 game against the [ More ]

Marlon BrownNov 30 07:13p

The Baltimore Ravens have declared DT Carl Davis, CB Cassius Vaughn, OT Eugene Monroe, DL Kapron Lewis-Moore, OG Kelechi Osemele, WR Marlon Brown, CB Tray Walker inactive for Week 12.

Andrew HawkinsNov 30 07:13p

The Cleveland Browns have declared WR Andrew Hawkins, CB Don Jones, CB Joe Haden, OG Joel Bitonio, CB Pierre Desir, DL Randy Starks, WR Taylor Gabriel inactive for Week 12.

Chris JohnsonNov 30 06:33p

Arizona Cardinals RB Chris Johnson (leg) suffered a fractured tibia during the team's Week 12 game and will miss an extended period of time. The team is still waiting [ More ]

Chris HarperNov 30 06:33p

New England Patriots WR Chris Harper was released Monday, Nov. 30.

Jimmy GrahamNov 30 06:23p

Seattle Seahawks TE Jimmy Graham (knee) was placed on the Reserve/Injured list Monday, Nov. 30, and DT A.J. Francis was signed from the practice squad to the active roster [ More ]

Trey WilliamsNov 30 06:23p

Dallas Cowboys RB Trey Williams was waived Monday, Nov. 30.

Karlos WilliamsNov 30 06:13p

Buffalo Bills RB Karlos Williams' (shoulder) status for the Week 13 game against the Houston Texans is uncertain at this point. Williams suffered a shoulder injury during the team's Week 12 game.

Rishard MatthewsNov 30 05:13p

Updating a previous report, Miami Dolphins WR Rishard Matthews (ribs) suffered multiple fractured ribs in Week 12 against the New York Jets, according to sources. There is no timetable [ More ]

Andrew LuckNov 30 04:53p

Indianapolis Colts QB Andrew Luck (kidney) is still the Colts' starting quarterback and will be under center when he's 100% healthy, according to head coach Chuck Pagano.

Rob GronkowskiNov 30 04:53p

Updating an ongoing story, New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) is not expected to play in Week 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to sources. Gronkowski is likely [ More ]

Peyton ManningNov 30 04:13p

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning (foot) will get his walking boot off at some point this week, but there is still not definitive timeline for his return. For now [ More ]

Rob GronkowskiNov 30 03:33p

New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski's (knee) MRI revealed that he suffered a knee strain in Week 12 against the Denver Broncos. He will miss a week at most.

Andre EllingtonNov 30 03:33p

Updating a previous report, Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (toe) suffered a turf toe injury in Week 12, but the severity is unknown at this time.

Rob GronkowskiNov 30 03:03p

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) is week-to-week, and his knee injury is considered more of a bruise than a tear, according to sources.

Allen HurnsNov 30 01:33p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Hurns (concussion) is going through the concussion protocol but has not been ruled out for the Week 13 game against the Tennessee Titans.

Dan HerronNov 30 01:03p

Indianapolis Colts RB Dan Herron will become the backup to RB Frank Gore with RB Ahmad Bradshaw (wrist) done for the season.

Rob GronkowskiNov 30 12:53p

Updating a previous report, New England Patriots TE Rob Gronkowski (knee) isn't dealing with any structural damage in his knee, but he still could miss Week 13.

Chase FordNov 30 12:43p

Baltimore Ravens WR Daniel Brown and OG Kaleb Johnson were promoted from the practice squad to the active roster Monday, Nov. 30, while WR Chuck Jacobs was released and [ More ]

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
Player Notes:
Forum Posts:

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group