To start the second quarter, the Chicago Bears had a 3rd-and-3 at midfield, leading the Minnesota Vikings by a score of 2-0. They quickly got first down yardage on a pass from Mitchell Trubisky to Kendall Wright, but a pair of penalties quickly pushed the Bears back into a 1st-and-27 situation. The Bears got some of it back, but not enough to allow the drive to continue and the brought on Pat O’Donnell to punt the ball away again. Once again, the ball went into the end zone, and gave the Vikings their best starting field position of the night at the 20-yard line.
Minnesota finally got a first down on their first possession of the second quarter, courtesy of a pass from Sam Bradford to Adam Thielen. However, they didn’t get much more than that, as Bradford was sacked for the second time on the evening, this time by Akiem Hicks. Ryan Quigley came on to punt the football away. . .again. . .and the Bears started at their own 22 with just under ten minutes left in the half.
It appeared the Minnesota defense had forced a three-and-out, but an illegal contact penalty on Eric Kendricks gave the Bears a free first down. That was the only first down they got, however, and Pat O’Donnell came in to punt again. Marcus Sherels returned the punt to the Minnesota 25 for the Vikings’ next possession.
The Vikings’ offense then put together their best drive of the night, with Bradford completing a short pass to Jerick McKinnon for a first down and then finding Adam Thielen in Chicago territory for another fresh set of downs. However, the drive stalled as Leonard Floyd got to Bradford again for his second sack of the evening. Ryan Quigley came in to punt again, and Tarik Cohen took the return to the Chicago 20.
On the first play of Chicago’s next possession, Everson Griffen blasted his way into the Chicago backfield and sacked Mitchell Trubisky, stripping him of the football. Linval Joseph recovered the fumble, and the Vikings took over at the Chicago 13-yard line. Bradford was sacked again on second down, and Jerick McKinnon’s efforts on third down came up short of the end zone. So, the Vikings brought in Kai Forbath for a 26-yard field goal attempt, and he split the uprights to put the purple on the board with a 3-2 lead.
After forcing a three-and-out, Marcus Sherels returned a punt to the Minnesota 45-yard line, and the Vikings replaced Sam Bradford with Case Keenum at quarterback. The Vikings got just over midfield, but that was all they could manage before the clock ran out.
As you might imagine, it’s a pretty ugly looking stat book for the Minnesota Vikings thus far. Bradford was largely ineffective on the evening, as he completed just 5-of-11 passes on the night for 36 yards and taking four sacks. Keenum came in and completed all three of his attempts for 21 yards.
Jerick McKinnon is actually the Vikings’ leading receiver thus far, as he caught four passes for 33 yards. Adam Thielen has three catches for 20 yards, and Stefon Diggs has been limited to just one catch for four yards.
As far as rushing is concerned, Latavius Murray is leading the Vikings with 25 yards on six carries. McKinnon has four carries for eight yards, while C.J. Ham had one carry for no gain.
It’s been an ugly one at Soldier Field thus far, but it’s an ugly one that the Minnesota Vikings have a lead in at halftime by a score of 3-2. Come on in and join us for the rest of the action, folks.