At the start of the second quarter, the Minnesota Vikings were facing a 3rd-and-6 from the Chicago Bears' 25-yard line. Unfortunately, Willie Young sacked Teddy Bridgewater for a big 10-yard loss, forcing the Vikings to bring Blair Walsh on for a long field goal attempt. Walsh teed it up from 53 yards away, and in a stroke of luck got it to bank off of the left upright and through to give the Vikings a 10-0 lead.
Deonte Thompson brought the ensuing kickoff out to the Chicago 28-yard line to start the Bears' next drive. The Bears finally picked up a first down, as they went the whole first quarter without one. The Bears pushed into Minnesota territory, but Tom Johnson got another big tackle for loss to slow Chicago's momentum. Danielle Hunter then stomped the momentum dead with the Vikings' third sack of Jay Cutler on the afternoon. Chicago punted the ball away again, and the fair catch was made by Marcus Sherels at the Minnesota 18-yard line.
Bridgewater had a nice scramble on the ensuing drive, but it was negated by a holding penalty on Mike Harris. The result was a three-and-out for the Vikings and the first punt of the afternoon by Jeff Locke. The punt was a short one, and Chicago took over near midfield at their own 48-yard line. The Bears quickly got into Minnesota territory on a quick screen to Eddie Royal, and picked up a first down on a run by Matt Forte. Hunter then got called for a big face mask on Cutler, and the Bears were suddenly down to the Minnesota 15-yard line. The Bears then got their first points of the afternoon, as Cutler found Alshon Jeffery in the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown after Xavier Rhodes went off with an injury. Robbie Gould connected on the extra point, and the Minnesota lead had been cut to 10-7.
The Vikings started their next drive from their own 20-yard line after a touchback by Gould. The Vikings appeared to have been stopped for a three-and-out, but an offsides penalty on Will Sutton kept the drive moving for Minnesota. Bridgewater then found Mike Wallace for a big 34-yard catch down to the Chicago 20-yard line. After offsetting penalties that negated a sack of Bridgewater, Teddy found Jerick McKinnon again for a 17-yard touchdown. The play was reviewed, as it appeared that McKinnon's knee may have gone down, but the replay upheld the call of a score. It was the first touchdown of McKinnon's career, and the Blair Walsh extra point gave the Vikings a 17-7 lead going into the locker room at halftime.
Taking a look at the stat sheet, it's been pretty good so far for the Vikings. Bridgewater has completed 11-of-14 passes for 156 yards and two touchdowns. McKinnon has been the leading receiver on the day, with four catches for 76 yards, and Mike Wallace has chipped in with three catches for 37 yards. Adrian Peterson, who went off early with an ankle injury, carried the ball 12 times for 56 yards.
For the Bears, Jay Cutler has completed 8-of-13 passes for 78 yards and a touchdown, but has also been sacked three times. Matt Forte is leading the Bears in receiving, with two receptions for 27 yards. The Vikings held Jeffery to just the one reception, but it was in the end zone for the Bears' lone score. On the ground, Forte has four carries for 23 yards through the first half of play.
After the first half of play at TCF Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings lead the Chicago Bears by a score of 17-7, and they'll get the ball first to start the second half. Can the Vikings keep things going and get one step closer to the 2015 playoffs?