Their offense failed to capitalize fully on two fourth-quarter takeaways, though. The Vikings managed only six points on two Blair Walsh field goals, which kept the Bears in the game.
“That right there is what hurt the most,” Peterson said. “I tried my hardest, [thinking], ‘Just don’t let this come back to haunt us.’ In those situations offensively we have to come through and make a big play. We do that and we win.”
The Vikings had the ball at the Chicago 4-yard line on their last possession. But Ponder missed Rudolph on a pass and Peterson got tackled for no gain on third down. Frazier didn’t second-guess offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave’s decision to run on third down.
“Sometimes when you give the ball to Adrian on third-and-4, you don’t feel like you need to pass,” he said. “We still had our opportunities to win that ballgame.”
They just needed a stop on Chicago’s final drive. Instead, the defense — and coaches, apparently — crumbled at the worst possible time.
“Obviously there was something wrong,” defensive end Jared Allen said. “I don’t know what it was. Whether it’s a call, whether it’s a player, whatever it is, it doesn’t matter. We’ve got to make a play.”
Chip Scoggins • email@example.com