A key subplot to Sunday’s Vikings-Bears game is Adrian Peterson vs. a stout Chicago defense. There are trends that conjure up optimism for both sides.
For example, to find the last time Adrian Peterson rushed for 100+ yards against the Chicago Bears you have to go back 5 games – to November 30 of 2008. Also, the Bears currently rank 8th in rushing yards per game allowed (95.2) and tied for 2nd in rushing TDs allowed (3). Through the first 6 games of this season, the Bears were dominant against the run, yielding just 71.0 yards per game and a total of 1 rushing TD.
More recent trends, though, favor Peterson. The NFL’s best RB is averaging 157.3 yards per game over the last 4 contests and an incredible 7.7 yards per carry over that same span. He’s the NFL’s leading rusher by 123 yards (over Marshawn Lynch), has 4 straight 100+ yards rushing games and two weeks ago tied a franchise record for consecutive games (3) with a 60-yard run. On top of all that, the Bears defense over the past 4 games has hit a snag, allowing 131.5 yards per game and 4.5 yards per attempt.
Which set of trends will prove to be prophetic? We won’t find out until midday on Sunday. Bears backers will point to the game being played at Soldier Field and their team’s recent history against Peterson. But Peterson supporters will point to the more practical evidence of the past 4 games.
There is one more notable trend to point out: the more teams run against the Bears, the most success they find. Opposing offenses ran the ball 109 times for 426 yards against Chicago over the first 6 games. Since then (4 games), opponents have run the ball 118 times for 526 yards. Quick math tells you that over the last 4 games the Bears have allowed exactly 100 more rushing yards on just 9 more carries than they allowed in the first 6 games.
But to be able to stay committed to the run, you have to be in the game. If other subplots in the Vikings-Bears matchup go in favor of Chicago, they might not have to worry about the whole Peterson vs. Bears defense subplot.
So what will happen on Sunday? Will Peterson continue his climb? Or will the Bears defense return to form and continue playing well against the NFL’s best RB? Let us know what you think by leaving your thoughts in the comments section below this entry. And then watch (on FOX) or listen to (on the Vikings Radio Network) or follow (on the vikings.com Live Chat) the Vikings-Bears game on Sunday at noon CT.
Tags: Adrian Peterson
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