CHICAGO (AP) — Adrian Peterson was late arriving to the stadium. By the time he settled in, this game was out of reach.
Peterson got off to a slow start, and the Minnesota Vikings got blown away in the first half on the way to a 28-10 loss to the Chicago Bears on Sunday.
"I was (surprised)," Peterson said. "We had a great week of practice. We just came out and couldn't get anything going. We've just got to shake it off and move forward."
Jay Cutler was on target from the start, throwing for 188 yards and a touchdown after missing a game with a concussion, to lead the Bears to a rather lopsided win even though they lost some key players to injuries.
Devin Hester left the game with a concussion. Matt Forte and Charles Tillman exited with ankle injuries, and for good measure, both starting guards went down.
All those injuries tempered some of the good feelings this win created for the Bears.
The Vikings, meanwhile, were left shaking their heads after losing for the third time in four games.
"Very disappointing game," coach Leslie Frazier said. "We did not execute the way we needed to on the road to win against a good football team."
Tied with Green Bay for the NFC North lead and just a game ahead of Minnesota (6-5) coming in, the Bears (8-3) grabbed a 25-3 halftime lead with Cutler connecting on just about every pass. The defense held Peterson in check early on, although he did finish with 108 yards rushing.
Chicago also came away with three more takeaways to increase its total from a league-leading 30 entering the game to 33.
The rather easy win came after back-to-back losses to Houston and San Francisco that left many questioning how good this team really is.
But it also came with a heavy price.
The Bears lost Devin Hester, a receiver and a record-setting return specialist, early to a concussion. And that was just the start.
Matt Forte, their top running back, hobbled to the tunnel midway through the third quarter with an ankle injury. Coach Lovie Smith said star cornerback Charles Tillman also hurt his ankle.
Besides those three, the Bears lost both starting guards in the third quarter to knee sprains, with Lance Louis and Chris Spencer going down. Louis' injury on a blindside hit by Jared Allen as Antoine Winfield returned an interception forced Chicago to go with Gabe Carimi, who lost the right tackle job to Jonathan Scott.
Spencer, meanwhile, was in the lineup after Chilo Rachal left the team.
If the Bears are going to develop any continuity on the line, well, don't expect it anytime soon.
"I don't think it's possible now," Cutler said. "With all the moving parts we have and Lance going down, you're not going to have that. We're going to have to roll with the guys we have and see what we have, lean on our defense as we have before, run the ball well. Be efficient through the air. See how far we go."