MINNEAPOLIS - Brian Urlacher and the Chicago Bears had Adrian Peterson all bottled up, at least until it really counted.
Peterson's 8-yard touchdown run, started by a shoulder-shake to fake Urlacher at the line of scrimmage, sent the Minnesota Vikings to their fifth straight victory, 20-13 over the Bears last night.
The Vikings (8-6) stayed in control of the NFC's last wild-card spot despite four turnovers and a missed extra point. Tarvaris Jackson threw three interceptions, his first bad game in more than a month.
Peterson finished with two touchdowns and 78 yards on 20 carries, just enough to keep Minnesota in front of New Orleans and Washington (both 7-7) in the conference race. The Vikings victory eliminated the 6-8 Eagles.
The rookie running back had trouble finding room to run for the better part of three quarters. But Peterson came through when it counted, plunging through the line for a 1-yard TD to pull Minnesota within 13-12 before a low snap by Cullen Loeffler preceded a missed extra point by Ryan Longwell.
Then in the fourth quarter, with Jackson sidelined temporarily by a cramp in his calf muscle, Peterson added another clip to his rookie highlight video.
On third and goal, after brushing backup Brooks Bollinger during a bad handoff, Peterson stutter-stepped to freeze Urlacher, then darted left and scurried over the goal line. Urlacher just shook his head, while Peterson hammed it up with teammates in the end zone.
Bollinger's dive forward on a draw play gave the Vikings the two-point conversion and a 20-13 lead with 10 minutes, 56 seconds left, plenty of time for Chicago to come back.
Kyle Orton, though, didn't have it in him. In his first start in two years, the Bears quarterback stayed away from the costly turnovers that plagued Jackson, but way too many of his throws were off target. Orton's long pass to the end zone to Bernard Berrian just after the two-minute warning was intercepted by Darren Sharper to seal it.
Orton completed 22 of 36 passes for 184 yards.
The Vikings wore purple from head to foot after pulling their dark pants from the back of the closet. This game had the look of one of those Black-and-Blue Division clashes with the Bears from 30 years ago.
Urlacher harassed Jackson often, recording two sacks. He also had a fumble recovery and an interception.