Adrian Peterson went over 9,000 career yards and had 100 for the game, but it was a no-gainer that hurt the Vikings. Plus, get nearly 20 notes that help tell the tale of the game.
went over the 9,000 career rushing yardage mark Sunday, topping the milestone in just 91 games. That makes him the third fastest to reach the 9,000-yard level, trailing only Eric Dickerson and Jim Brown.
But Peterson actually had to hit 100 yards twice Sunday. He went over 100 yards early in the fourth quarter, but then had a 13-yard loss that dropped him back to 89 yards and he had to make up for that to finish the day with 26 carries for exactly 100 yards.
Getting to 104 would have given the Vikings a win. On the Vikings' final drive, Peterson got the ball on third-and-goal from the 4-yard line and was stopped for no gain. The Vikings settled for a field goal to take a six-point lead, but it wasn't enough as the Bears drove 66 yards for the game-winning touchdown with 10 seconds left.
"Adrian is one of the best players in the league, if not the best, and we understand that we want to put the ball in his hands and let him make a play," QB Christian Ponder
said. "I guarantee you the majority of the time he's going to get in there."
Dating back to last week, in between his first carry of the season to the end of the first quarter, Peterson had gained just 24 yards on 23 carries. Eventually, he broke out for a 36-yarder in the first half.
A situation that will bear monitoring is a left wrist/hand injury he appeared to sustain. In the fourth quarter, he was in obvious pain on the sidelines shaking his left hand and seemed to aggravate the injury a short time later trying to brace himself for a fall on the same wrist.
The Vikings again got burned by a versatile running back. Just as Reggie Bush carved them up in the first game of the season, Matt Forte ran 19 times for 90 yards and caught 11 passes for 71 more.
The Vikings were unable to shut down Brandon Marshall, who was targeted 10 times, catching seven of them for 113 yards.
Cutler completed 28 of 39 passes for 290 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions for a passer rating of 97.2. He outdistanced Ponder, who completed just 16 of 30 passes for 227 yards with one touchdown, one interception and a passer rating of 75.3.
Greg Jennings was the leading Vikings receiver with five catches for 84 yards. Jerome Simpson, who caught seven passes for 140 yards in Week 1, caught two passes for 49 yards.
For the second straight week, Ponder threw a pick-six for a touchdown. Last week's touchdown was negated when Ndamukong Suh laid a low block on John Sullivan. This time, there were no flags and the touchdown stood.
Jeff Locke had a very strong day, punting three times for 170 yards – a 56.7-yard average. Two of his punts were covered inside the 10-yard and he would have had a third if not for a bizarre free play after Marcus Sherels kept the ball from going in the end zone. Such plays are free plays for the return team and, when the ball was touched by the Bears, it went out of the end zone for a touchback.
After having no kicks returned by either Blair Walsh or Robbie Gould last week, Patterson had 149 yards on three kick returns, while Hester had a franchise record 249 yards on five returns, including returns of 80 and 76 yards.
The Bears outgained the Vikings 411-355 with Chicago passing for 282 yards and rushing for 129, while the Vikings threw for 227 yards and rushed for 123.
Jared Allen recorded a sack for the second straight game, this one being a sack/strip that was recovered by Brian Robison and was returned for a touchdown.
The Bears had more than 300 return yards – 263 on six kickoffs and a 44-yard interception return TD by Tim Jennings.
The Vikings had only three penalties in the game, but a personal foul on Jamarca Sanford proved critical.
The Vikings showed confidence in their offense, going for first downs twice on fourth down and converting both times.
The difference in the game may well have been red zone production. The Vikings got in the red zone three times and came away with three field goals. The Bears got in the red zone four times and scored two touchdowns and one field goal.
Chad Greenway led the Vikings with 11 tackles. Harrison Smith and Sanford had eight tackles each.
Kevin Williams recorded his fifth career interception and his first since 2007. It was the first time Cutler had been intercepted in the red zone in two years – a span of 97 passes.
Had the Vikings won, Letroy Guion would have been one of the heroes of the game after ripping the ball loose from Forte in the fourth quarter, which led to the Vikings' final points of the game.
Smith continues to enjoy playing the Bears. Last year, it was his pick-six that helped the Vikings beat Chicago. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Smith intercepted Cutler deep in Vikings territory.
The Vikings defense tightened up in the second half until the final drive. Chicago gained 143 yards in the first quarter and had 269 yards at halftime.
There was a steady rain throughout the game that led to several plays being blown up because players slipped and fell.
John Holler has been writing about the Vikings for more than a decade for Viking Update. Follow Viking Update on Twitter and discuss this story on our subscriber message board.