A.D. creates bad nights for coordinators

The running back called "All Day" keeps Bears defensive coordinator Bob Babich up at night. Adrian Peterson will try for another big game against the Bears on Sunday night in prime time. Bears' players and coaches are well aware of Peterson's success against them, but they are holding out hope that the Metrodome will help them.

The good news for the Bears is that the worst of three games that Vikings running back Adrian Peterson has played against them was at Minneapolis' Metrodome, the site of Sunday night's NFC North first-place showdown.

The bad news is that "All Day" still has 443 yards, seven touchdowns and a 7.1-yard average on 62 carries against the Bears since entering the league last season.

Bears defensive coordinator Bob Babich was asked Thursday what keeps him awake at night when he thinks about the Vikings' offense, and he didn't have to think long.

"Adrian Peterson," Babich said. "They actually have a great combination between him and (Chester) Taylor. They really have an excellent running game. They do a great job with it, he's a great player, and they're a good football team. As a coach, you're always thinking of things that you could do better and things that can happen to you."

In two games at Soldier Field, Peterson is what happened to the Bears' defense. He has rushed for 365 yards and two touchdowns in Chicago, helping the Vikings score 75 points and split the games. Last year at the Metrodome, Peterson was held to 78 yards on 20 carries, although he still scored two touchdowns. But in his first game vs. the Bears, Peterson made an immediate and disturbing impression with 224 yards on just 20 carries and scored three touchdowns.

"I don't really want to look back at last year," Bears defensive end Adewale Ogunleye said, and who could blame him? "The first game he played against us, he (whipped) us really well. The next game, even though he didn't do as well, he still ran the ball well."

It's no secret that the Bears will try to gang up on Peterson and the Vikings' No. 5 running game and take their chances that Vikings quarterback Gus Frerotte won't beat them. The Bears picked off Frerotte four times in the 48-41 victory six weeks ago. The Vikings are No. 26 in passing yards, 28th in allowing interceptions and 26th in sacks allowed.

Peterson is second to the Redskins' Clinton Portis in rushing yards with 1,180.

"For us, all 11 guys have got to attack to him," Ogunleye said of A.P. "Wherever he gets the ball, he's got to feel us. (Even) if he's going down, we've got to try to hit him and not let him get any easy yards. He's the type of player that, if we give him a little bit of a hole, he'll skeet right through and run by our safeties. We've seen that. We'll be watching a lot of that film from last year, this year and everything he's been doing since he's been in the league."

Although Peterson had a below average game — for him — last year against the Bears at the Metrodome, he's actually more dangerous on FieldTurf than grass. His three most productive games this season have been at home, when he rushed for 160 yards against the Colts, 139 against the Texans and 192 against the Packers.

But the Bears' defense seems also to play better on artificial turf. In the four games they've held opponents under 300 yards, three of them have been on fake grass.

"It makes everyone faster," coach Lovie Smith said. "But just talking about it from our point of view, the way we're set up defensively, we're a quick team. We don't have a lot of big guys, so with our guys being able to plant and drive, you would have to think it would help us. So you look at how we've played inside; we've played well."

NOTES

  • DT Tommie Harris' 17 sacks since the start of the 2006 season are the most of any NFL defensive tackle. Harris participated on a limited basis at Thursday's practice after sitting out Wednesday, which has been his normal routine this season. He is expected to start.

  • MLB Brian Urlacher's 10 sacks since 2006 are the most of any linebacker in the league.

  • WR-RS Devin Hester was held from Thursday's practice because of general soreness but is expected to practice Friday and start Sunday.

  • TE Desmond Clark (knee) participated in Thursday's practice on a limited basis after sitting out Wednesday, and he is expected to play Sunday.

  • S Mike Brown (calf) is expected to start on Sunday after practicing on a limited basis Thursday, an improvement over Wednesday, when he did not practice.


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