Power of "Peanut" Tillman worries Vikings

  • Article by: DAN WIEDERER
  • Updated: November 24, 2012 - 11:53 AM

Chicago Bears cornerback Charles Tillman

Photo: Phelan M. Ebenhack, Associated Press

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Our snapshot look at the Vikings as they prepare for Sunday's game against the Bears at Soldier Field.


Now in his 10th season, energetic cornerback Charles Tillman might be the most important cog in Chicago's takeaway machine. This season Tillman has forced seven fumbles and picked off two passes, both of which he returned for touchdowns.

No wonder the Vikings were singing his praises this week, reminding all their offensive playmakers to remain aware of Tillman's whereabouts.

Said Vikings receiver Percy Harvin said: "Since I've been here, I know every time we've game-planned for them we circle Peanut on our board as a big stripper [of the ball]. I don't think anything's changed."

Tillman's hand-eye coordination and trademarked "Peanut Punch" make him a master at forcing fumbles; he has 36 of those in his career.

But his size, savvy and speed also allow him to be a lockdown corner. FootballOutsiders.com rates Chicago as the NFL's second-best defense against No. 1 receivers. Proof to that end: In a Week 7 victory over Detroit, Tillman limited Calvin Johnson to three catches for 34 yards.

Earlier this month, on the eve of the presidential election, Barack Obama endorsed Tillman as Defensive Player of the Year.

Linebacker Brian Urlacher was asked this week if he agreed with the President's vote for Tillman.

"I thought he already won it," Urlacher said. "Are there still votes out there? He's got it in my book."


Will Harvin and/or Jay Cutler play Sunday?The Vikings receiver is listed as doubtful on the injury report because of a sprained ankle; Chicago's quarterback is questionable as he works back from a concussion.

Harvin was unable to practice all week, with his last efforts to do so Friday failing.

Harvin stretched with the team Friday but, according to coach Leslie Frazier, "couldn't really put a lot of weight on that ankle."

Consider him very unlikely to play, which means rookie Jarius Wright will get more work. Wright practiced this week as both an outside receiver and as a guy in the slot.

Cutler, meanwhile, has been limited this week and needs clearance over the weekend from an independent neurologist in order to play. But all signs point to him doing so.

Without Cutler, the Bears offense has been a mess. In the last game and a half, Chicago has scored 10 points on 18 possessions, with backup quarterback Jason Campbell (25-for-41, 201 yards, one TD, two interceptions, two fumbles, six sacks) struggling.

Without Harvin two weeks ago, the Vikings offense found a way to get in a groove, piling up 403 total yards and scoring a season-best 34 points.


The Vikings will need push up front to energize their defense. Ends Jared Allen and Brian Robison should have ample opportunity to get after the quarterback against shaky Bears tackles J’Marcus Webb and Jonathan Scott. But the run defense must also remain stable, building on the bounce-back effort of two weeks ago, limiting Detroit to 60 rushing yards. Chicago’s Matt Forte (4.5 yards per carry, 821 yards from scrimmage, three TDs) presents another challenge but has just two 100-yard rushing efforts this season.


Chicago’s Super Bowl hopes revolve around the defense, which has held five of 10 opponents below 14 points. Most impressive, the takeaway total keeps rising, up to 30 and counting with 11 players having recorded an interception, a forced fumble or a fumble recovery. Cornerback Tim Jennings was the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for September and has a league-best eight interceptions. Tillman was the NFC Defensive Player of the Month for October. Oh, and there are also ageless vets named Briggs, Peppers and Urlacher who continue to excel.


Harvin’s injury is the Vikings’ most significant. But nose tackle Letroy Guion and left guard Charlie Johnson are also both questionable because of toe injuries. Johnson banged his toe during the bye week and has been limited in practice the past few days. Frazier said he thinks Johnson will be fine for Sunday, but Joe Berger would be the likely backup plan.

Other Vikings starters listed on the injury report, all probable, are: Adrian Peterson (ankle), Antoine Winfield (knee), Allen (shoulder), Michael Jenkins (foot) and Chris Kluwe (knee).

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Buffalo 12:00 PM
New England
Cleveland 12:00 PM
Dallas 12:00 PM
Indianapolis 12:00 PM
Jacksonville 12:00 PM
San Diego 12:00 PM
Kansas City
NY Jets 12:00 PM
Chicago 12:00 PM
Philadelphia 12:00 PM
NY Giants
New Orleans 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Carolina 3:25 PM
Detroit 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Oakland 3:25 PM
Arizona 3:25 PM
San Francisco
St. Louis 3:25 PM
Cincinnati 7:30 PM
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
TBA 1/3/15 2:00 AM
Toronto 110 FINAL
LA Clippers 98
Boston 88 FINAL
Washington 101
Orlando 102 FINAL
Charlotte 94
Memphis 103 FINAL
Miami 95
Indiana 110 FINAL
Brooklyn 85
New Orleans 100 FINAL
Chicago 107
Atlanta 90 FINAL
Milwaukee 85
Philadelphia 71 FINAL
Utah 88
New York 129 FINAL
Sacramento 135
Minnesota 97 FINAL
Golden State 110
NY Islanders 3 FINAL(SO)
Buffalo 4
Detroit 3 FINAL(OT)
Ottawa 2
Carolina 1 FINAL
Tampa Bay 2
New Jersey 1 FINAL
NY Rangers 3
Boston 2 FINAL
Columbus 6
Winnipeg 4 FINAL(OT)
Minnesota 3
Washington 3 FINAL
Pittsburgh 0
Dallas 4 FINAL
St. Louis 3
Philadelphia 1 FINAL
Nashville 4
Anaheim 1 FINAL(SO)
Arizona 2
Chicago 5 FINAL
Colorado 2
Edmonton 1 FINAL
Calgary 4
San Jose 1 FINAL
Los Angeles 3
Indiana 87 FINAL
Georgetown 91
Maine 43 FINAL
Seton Hall 72
UNC-Wilmington 82 FINAL
Minnesota 108
Georgia State 61 FINAL
Green Bay 78
Jacksonville St 61 FINAL
Jacksonville 75
Kentucky 58 FINAL
Louisville 50
Northern Ky 55 FINAL
Northwestern 76
North Carolina 89
Pepperdine 53
Santa Clara 60 FINAL
St Marys-CA 73
Oakland 56 FINAL
Maryland 72
Gonzaga 87 FINAL
BYU 80
Mercer 77 FINAL
Georgia 86
San Francisco 77 FINAL
Pacific 71
Wright State 55 FINAL
Ohio State 100
Presbyterian 65 FINAL
Virginia Tech 87
Brescia 42 FINAL
Western Ky 89
Tennessee St 46 FINAL
Tennessee 67
Kennesaw St 45 FINAL
Illinois 93
Colorado State 58 FINAL
New Mexico St 57
Portland 61 FINAL
San Diego 58
Wayland Baptist 63 FINAL
Utah State 75
Bristol University 59 FINAL
Weber State 109
Sacramento St 74 FINAL
Utah Valley U 49
Southern Utah 45 FINAL
SD Christian 50 FINAL
San Diego St 72
Illinois 18 FINAL
Louisiana Tech 35
Rutgers 40 FINAL
North Carolina 21
NC State 34 FINAL
UCF 27
Cincinnati 17 FINAL
Virginia Tech 33
(15) Arizona State 36 FINAL
Duke 31
Miami-Florida 21 FINAL
So Carolina 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Penn State 31
(25) Nebraska 42 FINAL
(24) USC 45
Texas A&M 12/29/14 1:00 PM
West Virginia
Oklahoma 12/29/14 4:30 PM
(18) Clemson
Arkansas 12/29/14 8:00 PM
Notre Dame 12/30/14 2:00 PM
(22) LSU
(13) Georgia 12/30/14 5:45 PM
(20) Louisville
Maryland 12/30/14 9:00 PM
(9) Ole Miss 12/31/14 11:30 AM
(6) TCU
(21) Boise State 12/31/14 3:00 PM
(12) Arizona
(8) Miss State 12/31/14 7:00 PM
(10) Georgia Tech
(19) Auburn 1/1/15 11:00 AM
(17) Wisconsin
(7) Michigan State 1/1/15 11:30 AM
(4) Baylor
(16) Missouri 1/1/15 12:00 PM
(2) Florida State 1/1/15 4:00 PM
(3) Oregon
(5) Ohio State 1/1/15 7:30 PM
(1) Alabama
Houston 1/2/15 11:00 AM
Iowa 1/2/15 2:20 PM
(11) Kansas State 1/2/15 5:45 PM
(14) UCLA
Washington 1/2/15 9:15 PM
Oklahoma State
East Carolina 1/3/15 11:00 AM
(2) Connecticut 96
Houston 50
Gonzaga 78
Pacific 92 FINAL
San Francisco 54
St Marys-CA 62 FINAL
Santa Clara 61
San Diego 87 FINAL
Portland 65
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Date/Opponent Time W L Score
2014 preseason     
Aug 8 - vs. Oakland 7 pmX10-6
Aug 16 - vs. Arizona 7:30 pmX30-28
Aug 23 - at Kansas City 7 pmX30-12
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Sep 7 - at St. Louis NoonX34-6
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Sep 21 - at New Orleans NoonX20-9
Sep 28 - vs. Atlanta 3:25 pmX41-28
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