To get things started in their Monday Night Football matchup with the Chicago Bears, the Minnesota Vikings won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half, giving the home team the football first. The kickoff from Kai Forbath went into the end zone for a touchback, and rookie quarterback Mitchell Trubisky led his team onto the field for his first NFL start.
Trubisky completed his first NFL pass, a 12-yarder to Kendall Wright, to give the Bears their initial first down of the evening. A second quick pass to Wright resulted in a juggling catch and a first down into Minnesota territory just over the midfield stripe, and Viking killer Jordan Howard then carried for another first down to the Vikings’ 35-yard line. Trubisky appeared to have a long gain for the Bears inside the 10, but a holding penalty on Tom Johnson negated the penalty and the Bears could not convert. Pat O’Donnell came in to punt the ball away, and Marcus Sherels watched the punt go out of bounds at the Minnesota 12-yard line.
Sam Bradford led the Vikings’ offense onto the field for the first time since Week 1 for Minnesota’s first possession. Latavius Murray had a nice run on the drive, picking up eight yards on his first carry. Unfortunately, that was sandwiched between two incompletions from Bradford, meaning a three-and-out for the Vikings. Ryan Quigley came in to punt it away, and Tarik Cohen brought the ball into Minnesota territory at the 46-yard line.
Minnesota forced a three-and-out on the next series, but the Bears appeared poised to go for it on 4th-and-2 from the Minnesota 38. However, the Bears wound up with a delay of game penalty despite burning a time out, and were forced to punt it away. O’Donnell’s punt went out of bounds at the 16, which is where Minnesota picked up for their second possession with seven minutes left in the quarter.
Unfortunately, Minnesota’s second possession didn’t go any better than the first, as they once again went three-and-out. Ryan Quigley came into the game to punt it away again, and Tarik Cohen called for a fair catch at the Chicago 36-yard line.
Two plays into the Bears’ drive, they put themselves into Minnesota territory on a pass from Trubisky to Tre McBride to the Minnesota 41. After that, however, the Bears were forced to punt once again. O’Donnell’s punt went into the end zone for a touchback, but a penalty on the Vikings forced them to start their drive at the 10-yard line.
Minnesota’s next drive was a complete disaster, as the Bears dropped Adam Thielen for a loss of 5 on the first play, and on third down Sam Bradford got crushed by linebacker Leonard Floyd for a safety for the Bears. That gave the Bears a 2-0 lead with just under two minutes remaining in the quarter.
After taking over at their own 43 following a free kick, the Bears moved into Minnesota territory on a pass from Trubisky to Zach Miller, but that was followed by a loss of 2 by Jordan Howard. As we move to the second quarter, the Bears are looking at a 3rd-and-3 from midfield.
One quarter of play in the books, and the Chicago Bears lead the Minnesota Vikings by a score of 2-0. Can the Vikings’ offense actually get themselves together at some point?