Wednesday, September 11, 2013
Allen: Vikings' struggles in Chicago 'embarrassing'
By Jeff Dickerson
LAKE FOREST, Ill. – The Vikings’ recent futility in Chicago is not lost on Minnesota Pro Bowl defensive end Jared Allen.
To find the Vikings’ last win at Soldier Field you have to go all the way back to Oct. 14, 2007 -- a 34-31 final that featured Adrian Peterson, then a rookie, rushing for 224 yards, the second-highest total of his career.
Since that signature Peterson performance, the Bears have won five straight at home against their NFC North rivals, and six of the last seven in the overall series.
“Goodness, we haven’t won since 2007, I think,” Allen said. “It’s got to change, to be honest. It’s embarrassing. It’s annoying. We can take the same team and bring them back to the dome and be successful against them.
“I think when you travel you have to have your mindset [being that] it’s going to be tougher than you think. Things always aren’t going to go your way … there is going to be some adversity and you have to play through that. You have to understand why you are there. We’re not going to Chicago to go down and grab a bite to eat at Gibson’s, you know what I mean. We’re there to work.”
The last three meetings between the two teams in Chicago haven’t even been close, with the Bears outscoring the Vikings by a combined 94-33. The Bears are coming off a Week 1 home win over the Bengals, while Minnesota enters Sunday 0-1 after dropping a close one to Detroit 34-24.
“I think when you get in there and [get past] the crowd and the ambiance, the field is still the same and you have to play ball,” Allen said. “I don’t know why we’ve struggled there. We’ve had some good individual efforts; Adrian [Peterson] in 2007 darn near rushed for 300 [yards]. We’ve had games where we were blown out in the first half, and then we start clawing our way back and shoot ourselves in the foot somewhere along the way.
We have to play better -- bottom line. We have to play better when we go to Chicago. It’s a huge game for us.”
The Vikings would catch a break on Sunday if Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kevin Williams can return from a knee injury that sidelined him for Week 1. Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier said Wednesday that Williams might be available to see action against the Bears at Soldier Field.