The Bears dominated the time of possession in the first half, holding the ball for 18:20 minutes to the Vikings’ 11:40 but at halftime the Vikings were ahead by one with a 7-6 score. The Bears also led 209-123 in offensive yards and had 11 first downs to the Vikings’ 6.
Vikings’ rookie Cordarrelle Patterson scored the only Vikings points of the half on a brilliant 33 yard rushing touchdown. Adrian Peterson looked strong with 72 yards on 11 attempts but, opening the second half, the buzz was Vikings quarterback Matt Cassell’s starting the half. Christian Ponder had suffered a concussion at the conclusion to the first half and was pulled because of that reason, now because of the 3-8 passing performance.
The third quarter saw the Bears light up the score board with 14 points to Minnesota’s 3 in the quarter despite the Vikings nearly two-thirds dime of possession advantage. The Bears silenced the Metrodome crowd on the second play in the third quarter when Bears quarterback Josh McCown hit receiver Alshon Jeffery for an 80 yard touchdown pass that put the Bears up 13-7 less than a minute into the third quarter.
Vikings’ kicker Blaire Walsh hit a 32 yard field goal mid-way through the third quarter to bring the score back within three points. The Bears would strike again, wrapping up third quarter scoring, when McCown hit Jeffrey for a 46 yard pass to complete a four play drive to put the Bears up 20-10 with about five minutes left in the quarter.
The Vikings dominated the third quarter in all statistics. Matt Cassell completed 13-22 passes, spreading the targets to ten different receivers and throwing for 137 yards including an eight yard touchdown pass to Greg Jennings. Walsh tied the score for the Vikings with 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter.
In an odd turn of events the Vikings kicked the final kickoff of the half to Chicago’s electrifying kick return specialist, Devin Hester who, for six seconds caused near heart attacks for the Vikings fans in the crowd while thrilling the large contingent of Bears fans in the Metrodome. Hester returned the kick from seven yards into the end zone out to the 50 yard line before being shoved out-of-bounds by Vikings’ veteran long-snapper Cullen Loeffler.
With two seconds left the bears sent out veteran place kicker Robbie Gould out to attempt a 66 yard field goal. His kick was short and the Vikings had placed their own kick return specialist in the end zone for just this reason. Patterson fielded the short kick deep in the end zone and ran it back, hoping to end the game. He was stopped after 31 yards but not before he turned the tables, taking the breath away from Bears fans and electrifying Vikings fans as he passed defenders before being brought down.
The overtime period gave Chicago the first possession after winning the coin toss. The Bears could not capitalize on anything and resorted to a punt. The Vikings drove to the Bears’ 21 yard line and, with 3rd and 10 Blaire Walsh came in to kick a 39 yard field goal. Walsh was true but a 15 yard facemask penalty nullified the kick and sent the Vikings back to the 36 yard line. Walsh’s 57 yard attempt was not good the second time, giving the Bears a chance to get the golden next points to win the game.
Matt Forte of the Bears carried the ball five straight times for 24 yards to set up a 47 yard Robbie Gould field goal attempt to win the game. The kick sailed wide right.
The Vikings took over at their 37 yard line with 4:07 left in the game. If they did not score they would, for the second straight week, tie a divisional opponent. Matt Cassell hit Greg for 17 yards and Adrian Peterson carried the ball for 30 yards bringing the Vikings to the Bears 16 yard line setting up a 34 yard Blaire Walsh field goal Walsh, on his third kick of the overtime period kicked it through the uprights and no flags were thrown, handing the Vikings their third win of the season and avoiding another tie.
The Vikings will play travel to Baltimore to take on the Ravens. Stay tuned to The Minnesota Sports Report for updates on sporting events in Minnesota. The article originally appeared at examiner.com.