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12/01/2013 7:22 PM EST
Vikings top Bears 23-20 in overtime
MINNESOTA 23, CHICAGO 20

By JON KRAWCZYNSKI
AP Sports Writer

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) -- Adrian Peterson thought his Minnesota Vikings
had won and lost the game against Chicago about three times
during a dizzying, exhilarating overtime.

When the game was finally over, after two missed kicks and two
made kicks, three changes of possession and one premature
celebration, he walked off the Metrodome turf a winner, the
nagging groin injury that has bothered him for weeks feeling
just fine.

Peterson carried the ball 35 times 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.

Walsh drilled his winner after a 39-yarder earlier in overtime
was wiped out by a penalty and a 57-yard miss put the Bears in
prime position to close it out.

But the normally reliable Robbie Gould missed a 47-yarder for
the Bears, leaving the door open for the tireless Peterson. He
rushed nine times for 51 yards in overtime alone, including 30
on the final drive that set up Walsh.

"You're at an all-time high because you think you've got a
victory, and then you're sitting there waiting for what the call
is and you're at an all-time low," Peterson said. "Ultimately we
were able to give him another opportunity and he nailed it."

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.

Peterson's fifth career 200-yard game helped him surpass 10,000
yards for his career in just 101 games, third fastest to do it
behind Eric Dickerson and Jim Brown.

"It's been my mindset since I was young to be the best to ever
play," Peterson said. "You've got to believe it in order to
accomplish it."

Gould's wife gave birth to the couple's first child at 1 a.m.
Sunday, and he hopped a flight from Chicago shortly after to get
to the game. He said that wasn't an excuse for the miss.

"It was one of the greatest days of my life, and I'm happy for
my wife and my little boy," Gould said. "Sorry I couldn't do it
for my teammates like I did for my wife this morning."

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. 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.

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 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, giving the Vikings new life.

"We were definitely in range, and I didn't want to at that point
in time risk a possible penalty that would set us back, similar
to what happened on the other side, or a fumble of some kind,"
Trestman said. "Something unique."

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 and prompting
owner Zygi Wilf to rush the field and hug his players.

Jeffery caught touchdown passes of 80 and 46 yards in the third
quarter to give the Bears a 20-10 lead. Vikings defensive back
Chris Cook was ejected after the second one for bumping side
judge Laird Hayes while arguing for a pass interference call.

But just when Jeffery had seemed to suck the life completely out
of the Metrodome, Peterson delivered a jolt against a Bears
defense missing five starters. Peterson ran through four
tacklers for a 19-yard run that set up an 8-yard touchdown pass
from Cassel to Jennings with 7:41 to play in regulation.

The Vikings faced fourth-and-11 from their 8 with under two
minutes to play, but Cassel positioned them for Walsh's 30-yard
field goal with 24 seconds to play.

Amazingly, both teams still had a chance to win in regulation
after that kick. Gould's 66-yard prayer in the final seconds
landed in Cordarrelle Patterson's arms in the end zone, but his
bid to match the miracle return from Auburn's Chris Davis that
beat Alabama on Saturday was stuffed.

When it was all over, the Bears were in no mood to talk about
the craziness of the game.

"We've got to put up a win in the win column. ... The standings
don't matter if you don't win football games," said McCown,
playing again for the injured Jay Cutler.

NOTES: Bears DE Julius Peppers had 2 1/2 sacks. ... Bears LB
Khaseem Greene had an interception. ... Ponder left in the
second quarter with a concussion. ... Patterson had a 33-yard TD
run in the second quarter, making him the first Vikings rookie
to have score on a return, a catch and a run in the same season.
... Vikings LB Erin Henderson dressed but did not play after it
was revealed last week he was arrested for DWI and possession of
a controlled substance.

---

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

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