To start their Week 8 match-up against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field, the Minnesota Vikings lost the coin toss. However, the Bears deferred to the second half, meaning that the Minnesota offense got to take the field first. The kickoff from Robbie Gould went through the end zone, giving the Vikings the start at their own 20-yard line. Minnesota went three-and-out on the drive (thanks, in part, to a bad drop by Mike Wallace), and the punt from Jeff Locke gave the Bears very good starting field position at their own 47-yard line.
Chicago quickly got into Minnesota territory after a pass from Jay Cutler to Martellus Bennett and a run by Matt Forte picked up a first down. However, the Bears couldn't advance the ball beyond the Minnesota 36-yard line, and wound up calling on Gould. Gould blasted one through from 55 yards out, and that put the Bears ahead early on by a score of 3-0.
The Vikings' started their next drive on their own 19-yard line following a short kick return by Cordarrelle Patterson. The Vikings moved the ball down the field, getting into Chicago territory on a 16-yard pitch-and-catch from Teddy Bridgewater to Kyle Rudolph on third down. However, the Vikings' drive stalled around midfield, and they were forced to punt the ball away again. This time, Locke's punt was much better, as he pinned the Bears inside their 20-yard line at the 15.
The Vikings forced the Bears to go three-and-out, and then we got a reminder of why Marcus Sherels makes the team every year for our favorite team. Sherels took the punt from Pat O'Donnell at the Minnesota 35-yard line, sprinted towards the right sideline, and turned the corner with nothing but green in front of him. The 65-yard return was the third punt return for a touchdown in Sherels' career, and the extra point from Blair Walsh put the Vikings up 7-3 with just over three and a half minutes left in the first quarter.
Minnesota forced a second straight three-and-out on Chicago's next drive, and there was a little more punt drama, as Sherels called for a fair catch at the Minnesota 24-yard line and had one of his own players (Adam Thielen) collide with him, but he held on.
As we move to the second quarter of play, the Vikings are looking at a 3rd-and-6 from their own 28-yard line, holding a 7-3 lead. Come hang out with us for the second quarter of play, folks!