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Sunday, January 1, 2012
First quarter: Vikings 10, Bears 0

By Michael C. Wright

Josh McCown
Josh McCown got off to an unproductive first quarter in his second Bears start.
MINNEAPOLIS -- Call Chicago’s matchup with the Vikings an envelope, because it appears the club has mailed in the season finale; falling behind 10-0 after the first quarter because of two turnovers.

Earl Bennett and Kahlil Bell fumbled away two Bears possessions and paved the way for Minnnesota’s 10 points.

Bell’s fumble late in the quarter on a strip from E.J. Henderson was recovered by Jamarca Sanford, giving the Vikings possession at the Chicago 18. Three plays later, Percy Harvin scored on a 5-yard run up the middle at the 3:42 mark that made the score 10-0.

Before that, the Vikings capitalized on another Chicago turnover. Bennett fumbled at the end of an 8-yard completion from Josh McCown. Officials originally ruled Bennett down, but Minnesota coach Leslie Frazier challenged the call and received a reversal, which put the Vikings on the Chicago 49 at the 12:31 mark.

Toby Gerhart busted a 24-yard run on the very next play. But the Bears weathered the early onslaught, stalling Minnesota’s drive at the Chicago 8, forcing it to settle for a 26-yard field goal from Ryan Longwell with 8:53 remaining in the quarter.