(AP) Vikings top Bears 23-20 in overtime
By JON KRAWCZYNSKI
AP Sports Writer
With a little bit of luck and a whole lot of Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings avoided a second straight tie, and dealt the Chicago Bears a serious blow in the NFC North.
Peterson rushed for 211 yards and Blair Walsh kicked a 34-yard field goal in overtime to lift the Vikings to a wild 23-20 victory over the Bears on Sunday.
Matt Cassel threw for 243 yards with one touchdown and one interception in relief of the injured Christian Ponder for the Vikings (3-8-1), who tied Green Bay last week.
Alshon Jeffery had 12 catches for 249 yards and two touchdowns for the Bears (6-6), who led by 10 points midway through the fourth quarter. They also had a chance to win in overtime, but Robbie Gould’s 47-yard field goal sailed wide right to set up the Vikings’ final drive.
Matt Forte rushed 23 times for 120 yards and Josh McCown was 23 of 36 for 355 yards with two touchdowns and no interceptions for the Bears. Julius Peppers had 2 1/2 sacks, but the Bears’ defense couldn’t hold a 20-10 lead in the fourth quarter, opening the door for the crazy overtime.
Greg Jennings had seven catches for 78 yards and a touchdown for the Vikings and was halfway up the tunnel early in overtime when Walsh’s 39-yard field goal sailed through the uprights for an apparent Vikings victory.
But Rhett Ellison was flagged for a facemask while trying to block Devin Hester. Jennings had to hustle back on to the field for another play on third down to try to gain some of the yardage back. Peterson was thrown for a 3-yard loss and Walsh’s 57-yard field sailed wide left, giving the Bears the ball just across midfield.
Chicago drove into Vikings territory before a decision by rookie head coach Marc Trestman cost it dearly. On second-and-7, the coach elected to let Gould try a 47-yarder. His kick went wide right with 4:07 to play, giving the Vikings new life.
With their second straight tie looming, Cassel hit Jennings for 17 yards, and the offense then rode Peterson to get Walsh in position for a second try.
He buried this one, capping an unlikely comeback.
Peterson carried the ball 35 times with a nagging groin injury, shredding the Bears’ last-ranked run defense all day. He topped 10,000 yards for his career when he ran through four tackles for 19 yards in the fourth quarter that set up Cassel’s 8-yard TD pass to Jennings that made it 20-17.
Walsh’s 30-yard field goal with 24 seconds to play tied the game.
Gould tried a 66-yard field goal with 2 seconds to go, which was short and landed in the arms of Cordarrelle Patterson. But he couldn’t quite find the magic that Auburn’s Chris Davis did on Saturday when he returned a missed field goal more than 100 yards to lift the Tigers to a 34-28 victory over the Crimson Tide in the Iron Bowl.
AP NFL website: http://www.pro32.ap.org