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Minnesota Vikings at Chicago Bears: Third Quarter Open Thread

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports

To start the second quarter, the Chicago Bears found themselves looking at 2nd-and-8 from the Minnesota Vikings' 48-yard line, holding onto a 3-0 lead. The Vikings got the Bears into a third down, but Jay Cutler avoided a sack and shoveled one to Jordan Howard for 34 yards and a first down to the Minnesota 14-yard line. Xavier Rhodes' missed tackle played a big role in that play, but he made up for it by breaking up a pass intended for Alshon Jeffery on third down. Chicago brought on Connor Barth for his second field goal attempt of the night. He put one through the uprights from 28 yards out to extend Chicago's lead to 6-0.

Cordarrelle Patterson actually got an opportunity to return the next kickoff, his first return since the Houston game in Week 5. However, it wasn't a great return, and the Vikings had to start the drive from their own 15-yard line. Courtesy of a sack of Sam Bradford by Leonard Floyd, the Minnesota offense put together their fourth straight three-and-out, and the Vikings called on Jeff Locke for the fifth time on the evening. Locke got off a decent punt, but Cre'von LeBlanc got a nice return into Minnesota territory at the 43-yard line.

Minnesota got a couple of stops on Chicago's next possession, but Cutler found Howard again for 11 yards on a 3rd-and-9 play to move Chicago to the Minnesota 31. Cutler then found Zach Miller for a huge 21-yard gain to the Vikings' 10-yard line, and Chicago was threatening once again. Cutler then hit Ben Braunecker to get the Bears to the 2, and Howard finished the drive off with a 2-yard touchdown run. Barth connected on the extra point, and with just under eight minutes left in the half, the Vikings found themselves trailing the 1-6 Bears by a score of 13-0.

Patterson got a chance to return the next kickoff, and nearly coughed it up, as he was hit and fumbled on the return. Charles Johnson alertly jumped on the ball to keep possession with the Vikings, and Minnesota started from their own 29-yard line. Minnesota picked up a first down for the first time since their opening drive thanks to completions to Ronnie Hillman and Stefon Diggs, and that pushed them to their own 42. It looked like the Vikings' drive was going to stall, but the Vikings caught a huge break thanks to a penalty on Cornelius Washington, who drew a 15-yard penalty for coming off of the bench to celebrate a sack. That allowed the Vikings to keep the ball and pushed it to the Chicago 45-yard line.

Bradford then found Rudolph on second down for an 8-yard gain, and then found Adam Thielen for 21 yards to the Chicago 13-yard line, the Vikings' biggest play of the night. Matt Asiata then took a run out of the Wildcat to the Chicago 4, setting up a 3rd-and-1 situation. Asiata hammered for a first down, and the Vikings had first-and-goal from the 3. Of course, with this being the Vikings, they managed to turn it into two handoffs to Asiata and a 10-yard sack of Sam Bradford by Akiem Hicks to push the ball way back. So, the Vikings brought in Blair Walsh for a 30-yard field goal attempt, and he put it through to get the Vikings on the board. That made the score 13-3 in favor of the Bears, and that's how they went into the locker room at halftime.

The Minnesota offense has been terrible, to put it mildly. Bradford has completed just 8-of-16 passes for 79 yards and has been sacked three times. The running game has done next to nothing, as Matt Asiata has picked up just 30 yards on 11 carries. Adam Thielen is leading the way for the Vikings in receiving, bringing in two catches for 33 yards.

For Chicago, it's been the Jordan Howard show thus far. He's carried the ball 11 carries for 97 yards and a touchdown, highlighted by a big 69-yard run in the first quarter of play. He's also leading the Bears in receiving with three catches for 48 yards. Jay Cutler has completed 10-of-16 pass attempts for 135 yards thus far.

It's been an ugly one if you're a fan of the Minnesota Vikings so far, as they go into the locker room trailing the Chicago Bears by a score of 13-3. Can this team finally figure out what the heck is going on in the second half?