Vikings top Bears in OT for third win
By The Sports Xchange
The game-winner came just seven plays after Robbie Gould’s 47-yard field goal went wide-right for the Bears. And it came not long after an apparent game-winner by Walsh was nullified by fullback Rhett Ellison’s facemask penalty.
Vikings running back Adrian Peterson kept Minnesota in the game despite turnovers with 35 carries for 211 yards. After Gould’s miss, Peterson ran four times for 30 yards on the game-winning drive.
For Peterson, it was his seventh game of 100 or more yards against Chicago, and he became the third-fastest NFL back to reach 10,000 career yards, reaching the milestone on a twisting, turning 19-yard run in the fourth quarter that set the Vikings up for a touchdown that brought them within 20-17.
Bears quarterback Josh McCown had 355 yards and two touchdown passes, both to receiver Alshon Jeffery, who caught 12 passes for a career-high 249 yards. Jeffery broke his own single-season franchise record of 218 yards set earlier this season against the Saints. Bears running back Matt Forte gained 120 yards on 23 carries. Vikings QB Matt Cassell, who entered the game in the third quarter after Christian Ponder sustained a concussion, finished 20-for-33 for 243 yards and a score.
Minnesota, playing in its second overtime game in two weeks, kicked off to start the extra session. The Vikings defense forced a punt when, on third-and-11 from the 47, McCown was sacked by Jared Allen.
On third-and-1, Peterson ran for 21 yards, which became a 36-yard play when safety Chris Conte was flagged for making a horse-collar tackle. That set Walsh up for a 39-yard field goal. But, as he and his teammates were celebrating the kick, Ellison was flagged for a facemask, nullifying the kick. Two plays later Walsh’s 57-yard attempt failed.
Forte ran the ball five times for 24 yards, setting up Robbie Gould for a 47-yard field goal, which went wide right.
The OT session was a fitting end to a fourth quarter that ended in a flurry of momentum-turning plays, which included the Vikings getting the ball at the Chicago 18 after McCown’s shovel pass went off a Vikings defender, into the hands of offensive lineman Kyle Long, who then fumbled.
The Vikings gave the ball back to the Bears when, on second-and-goal from the 6, Cassel’s pass to Ellison was boggled. Linebacker Khaseem Greene plucked it out of the air and returned it 49 yards, saving fellow rookie linebacker from playing the goat. Bostic was flagged for taunting on the previous play.
Cassel drove the Vikings 79 yards in 12 plays to tie the game on Walsh’s 30-yard field goal with 24 seconds left.
The loss ended a three-game winless streak for the Vikings (3-8-1), who tied Green Bay last week. Chicago (6-6) lost for the second straight time, pushing the Bears a game behind Detroit in the NFC North.
Mount Vernon native and Vikings linebacker Chad Greenway finished with a team-best 10 tackles and one sack.
NOTES: Vikings RB Adrian Peterson went over 10,000 career rushing yards in the fourth quarter. Peterson is the fifth player in NFL history to rush for at least 10,000 yards in his first seven seasons. Only Eric Dickerson (91 games) and Jim Brown (98), reached 10,000 faster than Peterson (101), according to Elias Sports. ... Sunday was a professional homecoming for Bears head coach Marc Trestman. He grew up in St. Louis Park, a Minneapolis suburb. Sunday was his first game in his hometown as an NFL head coach. ... It was also the 32nd and final time the Vikings hosted the Bears in the Metrodome. Minnesota entered the game with a 19-12 record. ... Rookie CB Xavier Rhodes started in place of Josh Robinson (fractured sternum). Rhodes, who sustained a concussion a week ago, briefly left Sunday’s game in overtime but returned. ... Bears SS Major Wright, who sustained a hamstring pull Friday, was inactive Sunday. He was replaced in the starting lineup by Craig Steltz, who led Chicago in tackles with 12. ... DT Jeremiah Ratliff (groin) was active and made his Bears debut; Ratliff, who went by Jay as a Pro Bowler with the Cowboys, had not played in an NFL game since November 2012. ... MLB Audie Cole made his second straight start ahead of Erin Henderson; Cole, temporarily cut from the Vikings roster in early November, made 18 tackles a week before in his starting debut, the most by a Vikings defender this season. ... Vikings S Harrison Smith, who suffered a turf toe injury against Carolina in Week 6, returned to practice this week. Smith is eligible to be activated Dec. 15 against Philadelphia.