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Purple pain: Bears vs. Adrian Peterson

The Bears OWN the Vikings star—when he's not owning them

By Jack M Silverstein

For RedEye

5:00 PM CDT, September 12, 2013

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Get ready, Bears fans: Adrian Peterson is coming to town. The Monsters of the Midway have had a roller-coaster ride defending the running back—and reigning NFL MVP—called "All Day." Here's a look at the good, the bad and the ugly.

THE GOOD

Nov. 14, 2010: Bears 27, Vikings 13

Peterson: 75 total yards

Peterson missed the second Bears game in both 2010 and 2011, but the way he played in the first ones, he might have been better off. The Bears closed this game with a 20-3 run while holding Peterson to 51 rushing yards and stopping him on his only third-down carry.

They said it: "This was probably our best overall game in all three phases."

—Bears safety Chris Harris (Source: Tribune)

 

Oct. 16, 2011: Bears 39, Vikings 10

Peterson: 39 total yards, 1 TD

One of the worst games of Peterson's career, and one of only 12 times he's been held under 40 yards rushing. His only touchdown was a 4-yarder that cut the Bears lead to 16, but Devin Hester returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a score. Peterson also caught one pass—for no gain. Success!

 

Nov. 25, 2012: Bears 28, Vikings 10

Peterson: 138 total yards, 1 fumble lost

After losing at home to Houston and getting smoked by San Francisco, the Bears needed a win to get back on track. They got it, and then some. Peterson gained a respectable 108 yards rushing, but the Bears kept him out of the end zone for only the third time in their rivalry.

They said it: "They wanted to make a statement. I thought it was more so what we did, giving the ball away, not making routine plays."

—Peterson (Source: Associated Press)

 

THE BAD

Oct. 14, 2007: Vikings 34, Bears 31

Peterson: 361 total yards, 3 TDs

The league was still figuring Peterson out when the Vikings came to Soldier Field in October 2007. To this point, Peterson's career rushing high was 112 yards. Then THIS happened. Touchdown runs of 67, 73, and 35 yards. Four kick returns for 128 yards, including a 53-yarder to set up Minnesota's winning field goal. No team would ever overlook him again.

They said it: "We stunk. We played horrible. He's a good player, but ... he shouldn't get that many yards."

—Bears defensive lineman Alex Brown (Source: Associated Press)

 

Nov. 30, 2008: Vikings 34, Bears 14

Peterson: 131 rushing yards, 1 TD

The backbreaking play of this game was a 99-yard touchdown pass to former Bear Bernard Berrian that gave Minnesota a lead they would never lose, in a game that gave them a division lead they would never relinquish. But Peterson was steady, scoring one of his 25 career 1-yard touchdowns. He has seven against the Bears, the most vs. any opponent.

They said it: "The guy poses a problem for every team he plays, especially for us. You could definitely say he has our number."

—Bears linebacker Lance Briggs (Source: Tribune)

 

Dec. 9, 2012: Vikings 21, Bears 14

Peterson: 154 yards rushing, 2 TDs, 1 fumble out of bounds

The Bears had a chance to knock the Vikings out of the playoff race and couldn't do it. Peterson's 154 rushing yards accounted for 62 percent of Minnesota's offense, and both his touchdowns were 1-yarders. Peterson gained 74 of his 154 yards on the first two drives.

They said it: "[Peterson] came out playing fast, playing hard. … It was the first drive. ... I thought we did a pretty good job after that."

—Bears cornerback Kelvin Hayden (Source: Tribune)

 

THE UGLY

Oct. 19, 2008: Bears 48, Vikings 41

Peterson: 121 yards rushing, 2 TDs

The highest scoring game in Bears-Vikings history was also the wackiest. The Bears scored touchdowns on a blocked punt, a muffed punt and an offensive fumble, while also getting interceptions from four players. Meanwhile, Peterson chewed them up for 121 rushing yards and two scores.

They said it: "It feels like we keep killing ourselves. We put up [439] yards on a pretty good defense."

—Peterson (Source: Associated Press)


 

Dec. 28, 2009: Bears 36, Vikings 30

Peterson: 137 total yards, 2 TDs, 1 fumble lost

The Bears were out of the playoff race while the Vikings were finishing a division-winning season, while Peterson ran for 94 yards, caught three passes for 43 yards and scored twice. So you can't call this a great Bears performance. But the Bears won, thanks in large part to Hunter Hillenmeyer forcing Peterson to fumble in overtime. The Bears won on the next play on a 39-yard touchdown pass to Devin Aromashodu.

Jack M Silverstein is a RedEye special contributor. Say hey @readjack.

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