Minnesota had the ball to start the quarter, and found the end zone once again thanks to a couple of Chicago penalties. One was a defensive hold that negated what would have been a third down stop, and the other was a big pass interference penalty in the end zone that gave the Vikings first-and-goal at the 1. Latavius Murray handled it from there, as he went over for his second 1-yard touchdown of the afternoon, and Kai Forbath’s extra point gave the Vikings a 14-0 lead.
Chicago found their way to the end zone via a little bit of trickery. The Vikings were forced to punt, and the Vikings were focused on Tarik Cohen, the Bears’ primary punt returner. However, unfortunately for the Vikings, the punt was actually going to Bryce Callahan, who was on the other side of the field and completely ignored by the Vikings’ special teams. Callahan took the punt and raced uncontested for a 59-yard score, and the extra point from Mike Nugent made it a 14-7 game.
Minnesota next got on the board with a safety, their first one of the season. Mitchell Trubisky dropped back to pass on a second down near his own goal line, and was swarmed by a host of Vikings. He tried to throw it away, but was called for intentional grounding. As he was in the end zone, that meant a safety for the Vikings, and it extended their lead to 16-7. Minnesota got Forbath into position to try a 55-yard field goal at the end of the half, but he pushed it wide to the right.
The Vikings haven’t put up eye-popping stats thus far. Case Keenum has completed 13-of-17 passes, but has just 104 yards thus far. Stefon Diggs and Adam Thielen each have four catches, with Diggs gaining 46 yards and Thielen getting 33. Laquon Treadwell has a pair of grabs for 14 yards, and C.J. Ham (6 yards), Kyle Rudolph (3 yards) and David Morgan (2 yards) each have one catch.
The ground game has been decent for Minnesota so far, with Latavius Murray leading the way with 39 yards and two touchdowns on his 11 carries thus far. Jerick McKinnon has chipped in with 23 yards on seven carries.
The big story has been the Minnesota defense, as usual. Through two quarters of play, the Bears have minus-1 rushing yards and just 53 yards of offense overall. Jordan Howard, who has proven to be a Viking killer in his young career, has five carries for a total net loss of one yard.
We’re at halftime at U.S. Bank Stadium, folks, and the Minnesota Vikings are halfway to locking up a first-round bye in the NFC playoffs, as they lead the Chicago Bears by a count of 16-7. Minnesota will get the ball coming out of the locker room at halftime. Come on in andjoin us for all the action!