Postgame snapshot from Mall of America Field, where the Vikings beat the Bears 21-14.
Good news: Yeah, yeah. We know it’s becoming a broken record. But Adrian Peterson continues to be the most unstoppable offensive playmaker in the NFL right now. Peterson scored two touchdowns in the first 7 minutes Sunday, both from 1 yard out to provide an early 14-0 lead. Peterson also topped 100 rushing yards before the end of the first quarter. That was exactly what the Vikings needed to put an absolutely necessary safety net under struggling quarterback Christian Ponder. Peterson touched the ball on 12 of the Vikings’ 15 plays in the first quarter and turned those carries into 104 yards. He finished the day with 31 carries for 154 yards. The Vikings also got a pair of huge interceptions from rookie defensive backs Josh Robinson and Harrison Smith. Robinson’s first-quarter pick and 44-yard return set the Vikings up with possession at the Chicago 5. Smith went one better, delivering a 56-yard touchdown return on his interception in the third quarter.
Bad news: OK. Again. It’s a broken record. But Ponder never settled into a rhythm Sunday. He went 11-for-17 for 91 yards and threw an ugly interception on a deep ball to Jarius Wright on his final series of the first half. If the Vikings were hoping their young quarterback would propel a big home win Sunday, it didn’t happen. Instead, they won in spite of their sputtering passing attack. The Vikings’ five receivers combined for seven catches and 78 yards. That’s fewer yards than Robinson and Smith combined for on their interceptions.
Extra point: Harrison Smith’s interception return TD was his second this season. His other came against Arizona in Week 7. Only once before has a Vikings rookie returned two picks for scores in the same season. That was Dewayne Washington in 1994.
Next up: The Vikings will travel to St. Louis next weekend for a Week 15 game against the Rams. St. Louis rallied for a 15-12 win this afternoon in Buffalo.