In a season that can only be defined as crazy, the Vikings and Bears gave the word a completely new meaning in the rivalries final meeting at Mall of America Field. Blair Walsh needed a second opportunity to win the game in overtime, and Adrian Peterson proved why he is the best running back in the NFL with his 5th career 200 yard rushing, finishing with 211 yards in the Vikings 23-20 overtime win.
"Just a wild football game that I'm so glad that we came out on top," Leslie Frazier said in his post game press conference. "Just a terrific job by our football players. We knew going in that it would be that type of game where it would come down to a final play. It seems like we've been in so many games like that this year and this time we found a way to make some plays in some clutch situations on offense, defense and special teams that allowed us to win this game."
Matt Cass el entered the game late in the second quarter after Christian Ponder was forced out with a concussion. Cass el finished with 243 yards and a touchdown and immediately got veteran Greg Jennings into the game plan. Jennings finished with 7 catches for 78 yards and a touchdown in the third quarter that pulled the game to within three at 20-17.
"Greg and I hit it off since we came in together as free agents. He's such a tremendous man, he works hard and he's a very smart football player," Cass el said. "It's been great for me to be around a guy like that."
The story in the win was Peterson who eclipsed the 10,000 career yardage mark and reached the milestone in the third fewest games in NFL history. Only Eric Dicker son and Jim Brown reached 10,000 yards faster.
"Just to be in that group, it's truly a blessing," Peterson said. "God has really blessed me to be surrounded around some great guys to help me get to that goal. I sit here and I'm just humbled."
With the Vikings trailing by three points, the defense made a stop and got another opportunity. Cass el marched the team on an 11 play drive that included a clutch 20 yard connection to Jerome Simpson on fourth down and 11 from their own eight yard line. Walsh connected on a 30 yard field goal to tie the game.
De vin Hester nearly thwarted the comeback as he returned the ensuing kickoff to the 50 yard line setting up Robbed Gould's 66 yard field goal attempt that fell just short sending the game to overtime.
Both teams had opportunities to win the game in overtime. Walsh connected from 39 yards but had the field goal nullified after Brett Ellison was flagged for a facemask penalty. Those 15 yards proved costly as Walsh missed from 57 yards turning the ball back over to the Bears.
After Chicago moved the ball to the Vikings 29 yard line, it appeared as though the Bears were primed to win the game but Gould's 47 yard attempt sailed just wide right giving the Vikings new life.
Peterson ran four times for 30 yards, and Cass el connected with Jennings setting up Walsh's 34 yard game winner giving the Vikings their third win of the season.