Sunday Night Football got underway with the Chicago Bears winning the coin toss and deferring to the second half, giving the Minnesota Vikings the football first. Cody Parkey put his foot to the pigskin, and the new guy, Ameer Abdullah, let the ball go through the end zone for a touchback. Kirk Cousins led the offense onto the field at their own 25-yard line, and he got a quick completion to Stefon Diggs for eight yards to get things started. Dalvin Cook had a short carry to bring up third and inches, and Latavius Murray was taken down behind the line on third down for a three-and-out. The punt from Matt Wile floated down to Tarik Cohen, who called for a fair catch at the Chicago 21-yard line.
The Bears started things out with an end around to Cohen for five yards, and Harrison Smith then dropped Jordan Howard for a loss to bring up a 3rd-and-7. It looked like the Vikings had Mitchell Trubisky for a sack, but he managed to get away and scramble for enough yardage to move the chains. Taylor Gabriel then took an end-around for 14 yards around the left side, and the Bears were into Minnesota territory.
Howard then bulled his way for seven yards on first down, and a short pass to Josh Bellamy picked up another first down for the home team. Trubisky then found Bellamy for a short gain, and then connected with Gabriel on a pass down to the Minnesota 15-yard line. A run by rookie receiver Anthony Miller was snuffed out by Danielle Hunter for a short loss, and the Bears then burned their first time out of the evening.
Coming out of the timeout, Trubisky was dropped for a loss on a sack by Eric Wilson, starting at linebacker for the injured Anthony Barr. A short pass to Gabriel didn’t pick up the necessary yardage, and the Bears called on Cody Parkey for a 33-yard field goal attempt. Parkey, who hit the goal posts four times in Chicago’s previous game, split the uprights to give the home team a 3-0 lead with just under six minutes left in the quarter.
Unfortunately for Parkey. . .and fortunately for the Vikings. . .he bounced the ensuing kickoff out of bounds, giving the Vikings the ball at their own 40-yard line to start their second drive. Cook ran for a short gain on first down, and Cousins then hit Cook with a short pass to bring up a 3rd-and-2 from the 48. Cousins’ pass for Laquon Treadwell fell incomplete, but Bears’ cornerback Kyle Fuller was called for pass interference to give the Vikings a fresh set of downs at the Chicago 38.
Cousins overthrew a wide open Stefon Diggs for what would have been a touchdown on the first play after the penalty, and Cook then ran for a gain of seven to bring up another third and short situation. Cook got the first down on the ground, and the Minnesota drive continued. Murray came in to spell Cook, and picked up six yards on first down, but was stopped for a short loss on second down, and the Vikings once again had a third down on their hands. Cousins converted the third down with a pass to Kyle Rudolph for six yards down to the Chicago 14.
Cousins then handed the ball to Cook. . .who put it on the ground. The fumble was caused by Khalil Mack, and recovered by the Bears for the game’s first turnover, squelching a promising drive at the Chicago 15.
The Bears got a short pass to Jordan Howard and a pass to Trey Burton for a first down, and as we move to the second quarter, the Bears are looking at 1st-and-10 from their own 25-yard line.
Fifteen minutes in the books from Soldier Field, and the Minnesota Vikings find themselves trailing the Chicago Bears by a score of 3-0. Come on in and join us for the second quarter of play!