The Vikings' offensive line has shown significant improvement this season. (US Presswire)

Vikings RB Adrian Peterson has rushed for more than 100 yards the past four games and averaging 176.5 yards per game in the past two contests. As a result the offensive line has received John Madden's Most Valuable Protectors Award for their game against the Detroit Lions.

“I didn’t know about it. I didn’t hear that,” LG Charlie Johnson said. “It’s good obviously that we did something well. I think we played all right.”

Awards and accolades are not generally on the top of  the minds for lunch-pail carrying players such as NFL offensive linemen, but few units are more crucial to a team’s success than the offensive line. The Vikings rebuilt their line this season with the addition of rookie LT Matt Kalil, moving Johnson from left tackle to left guard and the current rotation of newcomers at right guard in Brandon Fusco and Geoff Schwartz.

“The season’s kind of been like our team,” Johnson said. “We’ve kind of been up and down. We’ve had our good moments and we’ve had our bad moments—we’ve been fortunate to have more good than bad. It’s a constant process to get better, and that’s our goal: these next six games to get better and hopefully as a team we can do that as well.”

The coaching staff and personnel department hope they group will continue improve over the next few years. Clearly the line got younger this season and is building for the future, and Johnson said that staying together is a key to get better.

“If you look at some of the established offensive lines in this league, it’s guys that have been together--they have been able to maintain a core of five and string two or three years together,” Johnson said. “[Our offensive line is] something that you would like to keep together, but you never know these days.”

Johnson and his linemates don’t often look past the next opponent, especially when it is a huge challenge like the defensive front of the Chicago Bears. And for younger players such as Kalil, that will be a new experience, as well.

"I know about Julius [Peppers], especially since he was on the same team as my brother," Kalil said. "He's probably one of the greatest D-ends to play the game. He's an athletic freak, so I’ll definitely have my hands full. He's good on run, good on pass rushing. He's a big guy, too. He's got a lot of power to him. So [I have to] just play a consistent game. Stay steady in my approach.

"It's kind of surreal seeing all these players I've watched all through high school and college and actually going against them now. It's just going to be a pretty cool game."

For more Vikings news and notes, follow Joe Oberle on Twitter @CBSVikings and @joeoberle.