Sports

Peterson show dazzles Bears

CHICAGO -- Ricky Manning Jr. and Charles Tillman sat side-by-side in the Bears' locker room with a statistics packet in hand, trying to make sense out of the numbers displayed on Page 2. It wasn't the only time the Bears' defense looked a bit confused Sunday.

Then again, a player as talented as Minnesota Vikings rookie Adrian Peterson is capable of befuddling the best of them.

"I just wanted to see how bad Peterson torched us," Manning said.

The Bears might want to invest in a truckload of burn-relief ointment.

To say Peterson ran circles around the Bears' defense during the Vikings' 34-31 win at Soldier Field would be an understatement.

Peterson ran diagonals, squares, ovals ... you get the idea.

His 224 yards rushing in 20 carries wasn't only a single-game team record, it was the most yards rushing the Bears have ever given up to an individual, topping the 216 surrendered to the Dolphins' Ricky Williams in 2002.

Peterson's 361 all-purpose yards was the third-highest total in NFL history, and his 53-yard kickoff return that set up the winning field goal left many wondering why the Bears would kick to him in the first place.

"Give him his credit -- he's going to be one of the great ones," Manning said. "But it wasn't all him today. We were missing a lot of tackles."

That's not the only thing missing for the Bears, who dropped to 2-4 and into last place in the NFC North. A team believed to have regained its swagger following last week's come-from-behind win at division leader Green Bay looked more like the team Brian Urlacher said "stinks" following a loss at Detroit two weeks ago.

Devin Hester's 89-yard punt return for a touchdown and his 81-yard touchdown reception that tied the game with 1:38 left went for naught. Any thoughts of taking a two-game win streak to Philadelphia next Sunday faded when a 55-yard field goal by the Vikings' Ryan Longwell barely cleared the crossbar as time expired.

ROOKIE'S RUSH TO GREATNESS

Note: The top rushing performances in NFL history by a rookie:

251 -- Mike Anderson (37 carries), Denver, vs. NO, 4 TDs, Dec. 3, 2000.

246 -- Corey Dillon (39), Cincinnati, vs. Tennessee, 4 TDs, Dec. 4, 1997.

237 -- Jim Brown (31), Cleveland vs. L.A. Rams, 4 TDs, Nov. 24, 1957.

228 -- Clinton Portis (24), Denver vs. Arizona, 2 TDs, Dec. 29, 2002.

224 -- Adrian Peterson (20), Minnesota vs. Chicago, 3 TDs, Oct. 14, 2007.

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