NFL notebook: Bears pleased to make Peterson work for 100
LAKE FOREST – Adrian Peterson might have rushed for 100 yards on Sunday, but the Bears were pleased with how they defended the reigning MVP.
One day after the 31-30 win over the Vikings, Marc Trestman and Lance Briggs had a chance to watch the film and analyze the Bears’ run defense, which helped make up for another week without much of a pass rush.
“We had to stop their difference-maker, and we did,” Trestman said. “I thought our run fits were excellent for most of the game. Everybody went to the football. Our safeties came up and hit the line of scrimmage when they had to; both Major [Wright] and Chris [Conte] made some good stops.”
When the Bears did fail to bring Peterson down, he broke four tackles and ran for 36 yards, setting up a touchdown to Kyle Rudolph.
“He had 100 yards, but really, it came on one broken play where we didn’t tackle as well,” Briggs said. “We were in sort of situational football, we made a check and put everybody up on the line. But outside that, we did well.”
Peterson gained 100 yards, but his 26 carries put his average at 3.8 per attempt. By keeping his rushing average down – and him out of the end zone – the Bears put the onus on Christian Ponder to win it, and he almost did.
“We put the game in Ponder’s hands and he did a good job, particularly on breaking contain on a couple of occasions,” Trestman said, pointing out that the defense still needs to improve in getting off the field on third down.
When asked about the lack of pressure from the defensive line, Trestman admitted that the unit isn’t where they want it to be, and also commented on the field conditions making it difficult to rush the passer. But just like the Bears’ main focus was on neutralizing Geno Atkins in Week 1, which they did, Trestman was content that the run defense did its job.
“Our focus certainly was on our run fits, I thought they were excellent throughout the game,” he said.
Peppers’ health: Trestman said that Peppers was not healthy for Sunday’s win, in which he made one tackle in 46 of 64 defensive snaps. “He was probably sicker yesterday than he was the previous two days,” Trestman said, adding that Peppers still did not look well Monday morning.
Bennett OK: Martellus Bennett came down hard on his shoulder during Sunday’s win and had to miss a play. He rallied to catch the game-winning touchdown, but said he was in a lot of pain after the game. Trestman said that Bennett had a bruise “but nothing significant. And he had a full range of motion today.”