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Vikings' win keeps wild card hopes alive

Published On: Dec 09 2012 04:36:22 PM CST
Minnesota Vikings helmet

NFL

MINNEAPOLIS -

Adrian Peterson ran for 154 yards and two early touchdowns to lift host Minnesota in a key NFC North clash.

Peterson, the league's leading rusher, went over 100 yards for the seventh consecutive game as the Vikings (7-6) avenged a 28-10 loss at Chicago on Nov. 25 and dealt the skidding Bears (8-5) their fourth defeat in five games.

Harrison Smith returned an interception 56 yards for a touchdown to help Minnesota snap a six-game losing streak to the Bears and remain in contention for one of the NFC's two wild card slots despite being outgained by nearly 200 yards (438-248).

Jay Cutler was 22-of-44 for 260 yards with one TD and two interceptions before he was replaced by Jason Campbell on the final drive. Campbell threw a 16-yard scoring pass to Brandon Marshall to cut it to 21-14 with 1:48 to play, but Minnesota recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock. Marshall had 10 catches for 160 yards.

Minnesota did next to nothing offensively after Peterson scored twice on 1-yard runs in the first 6 1/2 minutes. Christian Ponder finished 11-for-17 for only 91 yards with an interception and the Vikings punted seven times and had an interception in their eight possessions following Peterson's second TD.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Bears K Robbie Gould suffered a left calf strain in pregame warmups. P punter Adam Podlesh handled kickoffs but Gould did convert the two PATs. ... Smith became the first Minnesota player to return two interceptions for a touchdown in one season since DE Kevin Williams in 2007. ... Marshall went over 100 catches for the fourth time in seven seasons and had his seventh 100-yard game to move into a tie with three other player for the franchise high in one season.