Over the last four games, the Minnesota Vikings have averaged 140.5 yards per game passing and 196.5 yards per game on the ground. The fact that they have maintained that ungodly rushing average is a testament to Adrian Peterson’s incredible return from the knee injury he suffered late last year. The guy is superhuman, he has a chance to break 2,000 rushing yards if he keeps playing as well as he has been recently.
Unfortunately, the Vikings have not been able to capitalize on Peterson’s efforts and have gone 1-3 in those four games. They have not been mathematically eliminated from the playoffs, but they are hanging on by their fingertips, and probably cannot afford another loss in the division.
However, they have a rematch against the Chicago Bears this week, and this time the Vikes will be playing in the friendly confines of Mall of America field. The Bears are banged up, with Brian Urlacher out and a number of other defensive players also dealing with injuries.
If Minnesota hopes to stay alive this week, they must bring a more balanced attack on offense. The Bears are likely to stack the box in hopes of slowing down AP, so Christian Ponder must capitalize and look to spread the ball around. Percy Harvin has been placed on Injured Reserve, so Kyle Rudolph figures to get more targets with the size mismatch he enjoys against nearly every opponent. The other Minnesota wide receivers need to get involved as well–Jerome Simpson has been almost nonexistent this year, and the Vikings do not have a lot of other talent at wide receiver.
They say it’s very difficult to beat the same team twice in the NFL, and the Bears are starting to show cracks in their armor. If Minnesota hopes to have any chance at staying alive, they need to capitalize on the Bears’ injuries and spread the ball around. Peterson is playing like a man among boys, but he cannot win games by himself.