Not only is Adrian Peterson healthy, but he’s hitting his stride.
But while the Vikings running back’s numbers are moving in the right direction, the Bears’ run defense has looked vulnerable lately, heading into Sunday’s game at Soldier Field.
‘‘We’re just in a slump,’’ cornerback Charles Tillman said, via Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times. ‘‘It just happens like that sometimes. Guys are trying.’’
Maybe so, but the numbers show they’re not getting much for their efforts.
The Bears entered the bye week second in the league in run defense, allowing 65.8 yards per game. They’ve since slipped to eighth, after giving up 131.5 yards per game on the ground in their last four.
Granted, they’ve played from behind, against good backs, and the numbers are inflated by some garbage-time runs, but the problem is clear.
Meanwhile, Peterson leads the league with 1,128 yards, his torn ACL seemingly decades ago. Unlike the Bears, he’s trending up, with 157.2 yards per game over his last four.
“I think everything can be vulnerable, especially against a team where it’s no surprise that we’re going to run the ball and we’re going to try to establish the run game,” Peterson said. “‘They haven’t faced a run game like us this year, I don’t think. So we’re excited about the challenge, and I’m sure they are, too.”
Given that Peterson’s the one thing the Vikings do well offensively, the challenge for the Bears is clear. Stopping him is another problem altogether.