Chicago Bears vs. Minnesota Vikings: Live Score, Highlights and Analysis
Behind 154 yards rushing and two touchdowns by Adrian Peterson, the Minnesota Vikings stayed in the playoff hunt. Peterson set the stage on his first carry of the game, rambling for 51 yards.
The Vikings defense, behind interceptions from a couple of rookie defensive backs helped the Vikings to win at home where they are now 6-1. Cornerback Josh Robinson picked off Jay Cutler on the Bears' first drive of the game, returning it to the 5-yard line.
It gave the Vikings a 14-point lead with only a little more than six minutes gone in the game.
In the second half, safety Harrison Smith returned another Cutler interception 51 yards for a touchdown. At the time it pushed Vikings lead to 21-7.
The defense was able to hold the Bears to two touchdowns, despite 438 yards of offense. It was also the second game this season that the Vikings won without Christian Ponder passing for 100 yards. Ponder finished the game 11-for-17 for 91 yards and another interception.
For the Bears, it was another big game for Brandon Marshall. He finished with 10 catches for 160 yards and a touchdown. For the season Marshall now has 101 catches, making him the Bears all-time single-season receptions leader. He surpassed Marty Booker who has 100 catches for Chicago in 2001.
For Vikings fans in the Twin Cities, the chore of having to shovel more than a half-foot of snow will now be a little more pleasant—all right, a little less terrible, with the Vikings win over the Bears.
Final: Vikings 21, Bears 14.
The Vikings won despite another poor game from Christian Ponder. He finished 11-of-17 for 91 yards and an interception—a pitiful 53.8 passer rating.
It was Adrian Peterson's seventh-straight game with at least 100 yards. If he does not win either the league MVP or the comeback player of the year something is terribly wrong.
3:38 left in the game: Jay Cutler has been replaced by Jason Campbell. Lovie Smith is not afraid to make a QB change when things are not working.
Perhaps Leslie Frazier will pick up a few pointers.
4:08 left in the game: All the Vikings need to do is gain a couple of first downs to ensure their seventh win of the game, and muddy the playoff picture in the NFC.
Facing a 3rd-and-4 the game is on the line for the Bears.
7:05 left in the game: What a catch by Brandon Marshall. He makes another catch, this time with A.J. Jefferson all over him.
No matter how many defenders the Vikings put on him, Jay Cutler is not afraid to throw him the ball.
He goes over 100 catches for the season in today's game.
9:13 left in the game: The Vikings drive ended in another punt. At least this time they were able to move the ball from their own one yard line to the Bears' 41 yard line.
Chris Kluwe's sixth punt of the game pinned the Bears inside the five yard line.
11:35 left in the game: A wide receiver comes up with a crucial catch on third down—and his name isn't Harvin.
Michael Jenkins makes a great catch on third down to keep the Vikings offense on the field. With the Vikings pushing into into Bears' territory it might just help to put this game away.
End of the third quarter: The Vikings are winning another game with Christian Ponder passing for less than 100 yards. He has two games this season with 58 and 63 yards passing—one a win over the Cardinals, and the other a loss to the Seahawks.
He still has a quarter to pad his stats.
3:40 left in the third quarter: Well, it wasn't the move I was expecting...
Another interception by a rookie defensive back for the Vikings has pushed the Vikings lead back to 14 points. Rookie safety Harrison Smith intercepted Jay Cutler for his third of the season, and the second time he has scored a defensive touchdown.
Smith, a first-round draft pick, looks good wearing that 22 jersey for the purple.
5:30 left in the third quarter: This is exactly what the Minnesota Vikings need—a boring start to the second half with plenty of punts.
The fans in the Metrodome are starting to boo as all four possessions—two each for Chicago and Minnesota—have led to a punt.
There's no way this game ends without another score. Look for the Bears to make a move on this next drive.
8:41 left in the third quarter: Two possessions, two punts for the Bears and Vikings.
The battle for field possession will swing to Chicago's favor with Devin Hester back there returning punts.
10:59 left in the third quarter: The Vikings defense holds, forcing another punt by Chicago.
It will be interesting to see if the Vikings continue to give Adrian Peterson the ball. Last week he carried the ball 21 times against the Packers. He has 18 carries at halftime this week.
12:00 left in the third quarter: Brandon Marshall joins Adrian Peterson with a 100-yard game. This has come down to a battle of the each team's best offensive weapon.
Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
If this game needs a quick score, it might favor the Bears, but never count out Peterson from getting another long touchdown run.
Halftime: The Vikings need to hope for another half with plenty of punts. That means little scoring and possibly a Minnesota win.
In the battle of punters Adam Podlesh has the edge over Chris Kluwe.
Podlesh has three punts, averaging 37 yards, placing two if them inside the 20-yard line.
Kluwe, also with three punts, is averaging 36 yards with one inside the 20.
Why isn't a good old-fashioned punters' battle in football anywhere as exciting as a pitchers' duel in baseball?
0:32 left in the first half. Another interception by the Major Wright, his fourth of the season, and the 21st for the Bears.
On the play, Jarius Wright had gotten behind the defense, but another under thrown ball by Christian Ponder results in another interception.
1:35 left in the first half: Christian Ballard makes a great case to play offense. He picks up the fumble on the kickoff and rambles down field. Unfortunate for the second-year player from Iowa the ball could not be advanced.
Still, he was shedding tacklers as he hulked his way down field.
1:57 left in the second quarter: Jay Cutler and the Bears seem to have a greater sense of urgency on their fifth possession. Cutler is looking more to Brandon Marshall and Devin Hester downfield as he has the Bears poised to score with the ball on the 23-yard line at the two-minute warning.
Marshall, who caught 12 passes two weeks ago against the Vikings, has four catches for 74 yards so far in the game.
6:45 left in the second quarter: Jarius Wright is doing his best Percy Harvin impersonation. So far he has caught two of Christian Ponder's four completions for 29 yards.
The Vikings need someone to step up at wide receiver.
9:30 left in the second quarter: Four possessions for the Bears—three punts and a turnover. This is not the same team that faced the Vikings two weeks ago in Chicago.
A holding penalty negated a 23-yard gain and pushed the Bears into a situation that allowed them to get their first sack of Jay Cutler. A for-real sack this time. not like last game when the only sack on Cutler was when he was tripped up coming off the snap.
13:44 left in the first half: Wow, sometimes what a player doesn't do makes a big difference.
Facing a 3rd-and-8 from his own 40 yard line, Christian Ponder under pressure does not force a pass, and instead runs out of bounds forcing a punt.
On the ensuing punt, instead of fielding the punt, Devin Hester allows the punt to hit the ground. It takes a Vikings' bounce and goes out of bounds at the three-yard line.Pinning the Bears deep in their own territory.
1:07 left in the first quarter: Field goal kicker Robbie Gould injured himself during pre-game warmups. Fox is reporting it as a left calf strain.
Instead of attempting a 50-yard field goal, the Bears opted to punt the ball back to the Vikings.
4:00 left in the first quarter: The Bears were able to contain Adrian Peterson, and a sack by Corey Wootton put the Vikings into a 3rd-and-22.
Thankfully, Leslie Frazier made the right call and had Christian Ponder hand the ball off to Peterson.
It resulted in a punt, but it prevented an interception by the best ball-hawking defense in the NFL.
6:23 left in the first quarter: Antoine Winfield makes another of his solid tackles on a Bears' third down, forcing a punt.
That's two drives for the Bears, and only two first downs.
It's time to see some more AP.
8:42 left in the first quarter: Adrian Peterson gets his second touchdown in the quarter. The Vikings take advantage of a Jay Cutler interception.
The touchdown drive was only for five yards, all of it covered by Peterson. He has 74 yards already in the game.
9:48 left in the first quarter:
The Vikings defense not only comes up with a stop, but Josh Robinson picks off Jay Cutler and returns the ball to five-yard line. The play was originally called a touchdown.
It's the second interception for the rookie out of Central Florida.
This game could not have started any better for the Vikings. Unfortunately, there's still plenty of time for the Bears to come back.
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