In the 31-30 win for the Chicago Bears over divisional foe Minnesota Vikings, there were points in the contest where the defense looked formidable and disruptive and other times where they looked old and slow.
Defending the run, the Bears continued the trend of placing eight men in the box to contain Adrian Peterson and forcing Christian Ponder to win the game for the Vikings. To Ponder’s credit, he didn’t play the Vikings out of the game. Despite the score, the Bears’ defensive unit only game up one touchdown on a Ponder led drive that was six plays, ate up75 yards and took close to two minutes.
As for how the defensive game plan worked on the 2012 NFL MVP, well, in the first quarter Peterson rushed for a total of ten yards, and despite the fact that he finished the game with 100 yards rushing on 26 carries, they were hard fought yards with him only having one run of 20-plus yards (36 yards) the entire game. Peterson, for his troubles, also had a fumble that may have stymied his team’s offensive rhythm.
However, with the Bears down three and having to keep the Vikings out of the end zone to keep the team in position to win the game, that’s just what the D did. It’s remarkable how inconsistent the defense looked at times against Ponder—with little to no pass rush, leaving receivers open and missing sure tackles—but when it mattered most they stepped up and kept things close enough for the offense to get back on the field and steal a win.