Sunday's Viking victory over the visiting Chicago Bears 23-20 was an emotional roller coaster, according to one Bears player, and that is to put it mildly. An exciting overtime win at the Dome had a litle bit of something for everybody, but the main word around the league seems to be this: Adrian Peterson is amazing.
Might not be a news flash, but his performance Sunday reminded everyone just how determined – and great – of a football player he really is.
Like this, from NBC's Pro Football Talk: "Yes, yes, we all know he’s good. But do we take the time to really examine how good he is? Peterson, who willed the Vikings to victory on Sunday with a 35-carry, 211-yard game against the Bears, has now topped 10,000 yards in his career, and that seems like a natural benchmark to reflect on just how extraordinary Peterson’s career has been."
Or this, from USA Today: "Peterson carried the ball 35 times with a nagging groin injury, shredding the Bears' last-ranked run defense all day."
The take from behind enemy lines, the Chicago Tribune: "Technically, Peterson never broke Sunday's game open. His longest run was a 23-yarder to end the first quarter. And he never reached the end zone. But that doesn't mean his constant stampeding over, into and around Bears defenders didn't exhaust a defense that was already spread thin."
Peterson himself said "I could have went for 50, maybe 55 carries."
SB Nation: "It looked like the Vikings were going to get a tie in back-to-back weeks, but Peterson showed up big in this critical moment. Peterson was a man possessed on Minnesota's next drive, single-handedly moving the Vikings back down to field goal range."
The Washington Post quotes AP thusly: “That’s one thing that we have done all year. Our record doesn’t show it, but you guys have heard me say it time and time again; I haven’t seen guys quit. When I look in their eyes there is fight there.”
ESPN breaks down some stats, saying Peterson "might not have all of his breakaway speed as he plays with a strained groin, but the performance he turned in on Sunday was the kind of tour de force he churned out so often in the second half of his MVP season a year ago. Peterson ran for 211 yards against a steady diet of eight- and nine-man fronts; he faced at least eight defenders in the box on 24 of his 35 carries, according to ESPN Stats and Information, and averaged more yards per carry with eight or more in the box (6.1) than he did against seven defenders or fewer (5.8)."
A more direct assessment from Vikings.com: "You had the feeling something special could happen on this day, with Adrian Peterson 154 rushing yards from 10,000 for his career and with the Bears bringing the NFL’s worst run defense to town. Something special certainly happened. Peterson could not be stopped, particularly after halftime."
Didn't other stuff happen in the game?
Yes, Yahoo! gives props to Chicago wideout Alshon Jeffrey for making one of the great catches of the season, and gives a thumbs down to Viking tight end Rhett Ellison, who dropped a touchdown catch in regulation and had a facemask penalty that wiped out a game-winning field goal in overtime.
And a separate Yahoo! Sports story talks about how Matt Cassel rallied the offense after Christian Ponder was knocked out of the game.
The Chicago Tribune talks about kicker Robbie Gould's "emotional roller coaster" and how he took blame for the defeat by missing a 47-yarder in OT.
And, oh yes, the Chicago Tribune also notes that the Bears may indeed have a quarterback controversy, to which all we can say is: Join the club.