Sunday, December 9, 2012
Halftime: Vikings 14, Bears 7
By Kevin Seifert
MINNEAPOLIS -- A few thoughts at halftime from the Metrodome:
- We're running out of superlatives for Adrian Peterson. The Minnesota Vikings' tailback, who entered the game with an NFL-high 1,446 rushing yards, broke free for a 51-yard scamper on the game's first play and had a franchise-record 104 yards (and two touchdowns) in the first quarter alone. The Bears limited him to 21 yards in the second quarter, but he still has 125 yards in this game and now 1,571 yards with three and a half games remaining in the regular season.
- Peterson's early heroics took most of the pressure off Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder, who threw only two passes in the second quarter and a total of nine in the half. Ponder was mostly sharp in completing six of them, and one of his incompletions was a well-placed ball to receiver Devin Aromashodu in the end zone. The ball hit Aromashodu in the shoulder on what could have been a 50-yard touchdown.
- Ponder's worst pass was the final one of the half: He didn't set his feet and threw well short of an open Jarius Wright from his 39-yard line. Wright had several steps on Bears safety Major Wright and probably would have scored on the play. Major Wright made the interception.
- The Bears offense had trouble moving the ball until late in the second quarter, when quarterback Jay Cutler found receiver Alshon Jeffery with a step on rookie cornerback Josh Robinson down the right sideline for a 23-yard touchdown. Overall, I thought the Bears did a nice job regrouping after the terrible start, and the could tie the game when they take possession with the opening drive of the third quarter.
- Cutler has found receiver Brandon Marshall five times for 94 yards. That brings Marshall's season total to 95 receptions, five shy of tying the franchise record for receptions in a season.
- The Bears have lost two defensive linemen -- Henry Melton (shoulder) and Shea McClellin (knee) -- to injuries. Both players are questionable to return.
- Place-kicker Robbie Gould's pregame calf injury impacted perhaps one play in the first half. The Bears decided to punt when faced with fourth down at their 35 yard line. If healthy, Gould almost certainly would have attempted a 52-yarder indoors. Punter Adam Podlesh has handled both kickoffs without an issue.