Trailing at halftime by a score of 13-3, the Minnesota Vikings started the second half by kicking the ball to the Chicago Bears, who won the opening coin toss and deferred to the second half. Dan Bailey put his foot to the ball, and it went through the end zone for a touchback. Mitchell Trubisky led the Chicago offense back onto the field for the first possession of the second half, and got things started with six-yard run by Jordan Howard. Howard then carried again to bring up a 3rd-and-2 for the Bears, and he then took it right up the middle for four yards to move the chains. Tarik Cohen then got into the act with a seven-yard run, and then a carry for eight yards into Minnesota territory for another first down.
Trubisky then completed a pass to Cohen for a short gain, and an incompletion brought up a 3rd-and-7 from the Minnesota 45-yard line. Trubisky then found Cohen on a screen pass for a big gain and a first down, but Kevin White was called for a hold downfield to make it a 3rd-and-12. A screen pass to Cohen couldn’t get the yardage, and the Bears were forced to punt. Pat O’Donnell came in to boot the ball away, and Brandon Zylstra called for a fair catch at his own 8-yard line.
Dalvin Cook got the drive started with a six-yard run, and took a second handoff for a short gain to bring up 3rd-and-1. Cousins tried to connect with Thielen, and the pass fell incomplete, but Khalil Mack was called for roughing the passer to give the Vikings a fresh set of downs. Cousins then connected with Thielen for a gain of 18, and the Vikings were suddenly near the midfield stripe.
Of course, that momentum was stopped by a sack by Akiem Hicks on the ensuing play for a big loss, but Cook got the sack yardage back with a 10-yard run to bring up 3rd-and-8. Cousins tried to hit Aldrick Robinson, and while the pass fell incomplete, Prince Amukamara was called for pass interference to move the sticks for the Vikings once again. Cook then took a swing pass from Cousins for a gain of five to the Chicago 33-yard line.
Latavius Murray finally got a carry, and he made the most of it, picking up 20 yards down to the Chicago 13-yard line. He was then dropped for a loss of two on the next play, and then Cousins hit Diggs for a gain of six to bring up 3rd-and-6 from the Chicago 9. Cousins then hit Cook out of the backfield for what looked to be a first down, but the ball was spotted just short of the sticks. Cousins appeared to have the yardage on a sneak to set up first-and-goal. . .but Mike Zimmer had thrown the red challenge flag to get the officials to review the spot on Cook’s run. The ruling stood, so it was still 4th-and-1 from the Chicago 3. Cook got the yardage needed. . .barely. . .and the Vikings had first-and-goal from the Chicago 2. On first-and-goal, Cousins found Stefon Diggs in the left-front of the end zone for a 2-yard touchdown pass, and Bailey’s extra point cut the deficit to 13-10!
Bailey’s kickoff went through the end zone for a touchback, giving the Bears the ball at their own 25. Trubisky led the Bears’ offense onto the field, and threw incomplete deep for Kevin White on first down. Trubisky then scrambled on second down for a gain of five, bringing up 3rd-and-5 at the Chicago 30. Trubisky then picked up the first down with his feet, this one for a gain of 12. As we move to the fourth quarter, the Bears are looking at a 2nd-and-6 from their own 46-yard line.
We have fifteen minutes left in the regular season, folks, and the Minnesota Vikings trail the Chicago Bears by a score of 13-10. Can the Vikings mount the necessary comeback to get themselves into the postseason?
Buckle up, everyone.