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Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears: Third Quarter Open Thread

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Jonathan Daniel

To start the second quarter, the Chicago Bears had the football near midfield, and a couple of completions by Jay Cutler got the Bears near the Minnesota Vikings' 30-yard line. Cutler then scrambled his way out of trouble, looked to the end zone, and fired a dart that was caught by Alshon Jeffery for a 27-yard touchdown. The extra point from Robbie Gould cut the score to 10-7 in favor of Minnesota.

Minnesota started their next drive from their own 20-yard line. The drive started with Cordarrelle Patterson lining up in the backfield (and gaining only three yards), but the drive wound up as a three-and-out after an incompletion from Teddy Bridgewater intended for Matt Asiata. Jeff Locke came on to punt, and the results were not great, as the Bears started their next drive from their own 40-yard line.

The Bears quickly found themselves in Minnesota territory on a tight end screen from Cutler to Martellus Bennett. The Bears converted another third down, and appeared to have another, but an offensive pass interference penalty on Bennett negated it. That pushed the Bears out of field goal range and they were forced to punt the ball away. A penalty on the Vikings on the punt return pushed them back to their own 8-yard line to start their next drive.

Unfortunately for the Vikings, they put together their second consecutive three-and-out on a short pass from Bridgewater to Matt Asiata. Jeff Locke came on to punt once again, and after a pretty decent punt and a block in the back on the Bears, Chicago started their next drive from their own 27-yard line.

Within a few plays, the Bears found themselves back into Minnesota territory, with Cutler finding Brandon Marshall for a completion to the Vikings' 44-yard line. On the next play, Cutler found Marshall again, this time for a 44-yard touchdown pass where Marshall beat Josh Robinson. The Bears have really been going after Robinson this afternoon so far, and it happened again on that drive. The extra point from Robbie Gould made the score 14-10 in favor of the home team.

The Vikings started the next drive from their own 26 after another short kickoff by Gould. It looked like the Vikings were going to engineer their third straight three-and-out, but on 3rd-and-6, Bridgewater found Charles Johnson for a big 17-yard gain to the Minnesota 47-yard line. Coming out of the two-minute warning, Jared Allen collected a sack of Bridgewater. . .because of course he did. . .to squash any thoughts Minnesota might have had of finishing the first half with points, as the Vikings were forced to punt the ball away. After the punt return, the Bears started their next drive from their own 26-yard line.

The Bears put together a little bit of a drive going towards the end of the half, but Jay Cutler then threw his first interception of the afternoon, right into the arms of Xavier Rhodes. It was the first interception of Rhodes' career, and allowed the Vikings to go into the locker room without the damage getting any worse.

As you'd imagine, the offensive numbers for Minnesota are pretty ugly. Bridgewater has completed 8-of-11 passes, but for only 39 yards. Thus far, Andrew Sendejo is the team's leading rusher, thanks to his fake punt in the first quarter, tallying 47 yards. Jerick McKinnon has seven carries for 35 yards to lead the more conventional runners. Charles Johnson is Minnesota's leading receiver with a whopping 17 yards.

Chicago's offensive numbers, on the other hand, are pretty good. Cutler has completed 18-of-24 passes for 216 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception. Matt Forte has eight carries for 49 yards, and Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery have combined for 11 catches, 149 yards, and both of Cutler's touchdown passes. The Vikings have not allowed a 300-yard passer this season, but they're going to have to really crank it up in the second half to keep that streak alive.

At halftime, the Minnesota Vikings trail the Chicago Bears by a score of 14-10 at Soldier Field. Can the Vikings pick things up in the third quarter? Chicago will get the ball first, so we'll find out quickly.