To get things started at U.S. Bank Stadium for the regular season finale, the Chicago Bears won the coin toss, meaning that the Minnesota Vikings would take the field on offense first. Cody Parkey put his foot to the pigskin and it floated through the end zone for a touchback, giving the Vikings the ball at their own 25. Kirk Cousins led the Minnesota offense out onto the field, and got things started with a short pass to Stefon Diggs for three yards. After being forced to throw the ball away on second down, 3rd-and-7 saw Cousins overthrow Diggs, and it was a three-and-out for the Minnesota offense. Matt Wile came in to punt, and Tarik Cohen called for the fair catch at the Chicago 29-yard line.
Mitchell Trubisky took his offense onto the field, and Jordan Howard took a handoff for seven yards to get them started. Howard then took another handoff and blasted through a huge hole on the right side for a 42-yard gain down to the Minnesota 22-yard line. That was followed by an 8-yard run by Anthony Miller on a toss play, and the Bears were into the red zone.
The Bears tried the toss to Miller again, and he was stopped by Everson Griffen for a loss to bring up a third down. On that third down, Trubisky dropped back to pass and found a wide open Trey Burton to set up a first-and-goal situation for the Bears from the Minnesota 6-yard line. Chicago then called a timeout to prevent a delay of game penalty, Howard finished the drive off with a six-yard touchdown run, and the extra point from Parkey gave the visiting team an early 7-0 lead.
Parkey kicked the ball away again, and it once more went through the end zone for a touchback. The Vikings’ offense got their second possession started with a handoff to Dalvin Cook for a gain of four yards, and he got the call on third down as well to make it 3rd-and-3. On third down, the Vikings’ offense failed again, as Eddie Goldman came through and took Cousins down for a sack to force another three-and-out. Wile came on to punt again, and after Tarik Cohen recovered his own muff of an attempted fair catch, Chicago took over at their own 29-yard line.
Trubisky led the Chicago offense onto the field again, and the first play saw Cohen taken down by Sheldon Richardson for no gain. Trubisky then completed a pass to Javon Wims for a 4-yard gain to bring up 3rd-and-6. On third down, Trubisky overthrew Burton, and it was a three-and-out for Chicago! Pat O’Donnell came on to punt it away to the pride of Concordia College, Brandon Zylstra, and he got a short return to the Minnesota 25-yard line.
Drive number three for the Minnesota offense got started with Dalvin Cook getting wrestled down by Akiem Hicks for no gain. Cousins then connected with Kyle Rudolph for a gain of five to bring up yet another third down situation. Cousins completed the pass on third down to Stefon Diggs, but it was short of the sticks for a third consecutive three-and-out. Once again, out came Matt Wile and booted one far enough that Cohen had to call for the fair catch at the Chicago 12-yard line.
Chicago came out for their third possession and started off with a short run by Howard. Howard got another short gain on second down to bring up another third down situation for the Bears’ offense. On that third down, Trubisky found Kevin White. . .yeah, Kevin White. . .for a gain of 22 and a first down to the Chicago 38. The Bears were called for holding on the next play to push them back ten yards, and Trubisky then found Taylor Gabriel for a gain of eight. A pass to Josh Bellamy brought up a 3rd-and-10 for the Bears, and Gabriel was stopped a yard short of the line to gain. As we move to the second quarter, the Bears are looking at 4th-and-1 from their own 47-yard line.
The Vikings trail in a must-win game after the first quarter by a score of 7-0. Can they eventually get it together here?