PLAY OF THE GAME
Score: Vikings led 14-7, 3:40 remaining in the third quarter.
Situation: Chicago had third-and-2 from its own 39.
The play: Bears quarterback Jay Cutler (7), in shotgun formation, threw over the middle but missed a leaping Brandon Marshall (15). Harrison Smith intercepted at the Vikings 44 and returned it down the right sideline for a touchdown and a 21-14 lead.
THE KIDS ARE ALL RIGHT?
The Vikings started five rookies in a game Sunday, a team record. The five were safety Harrison Smith, cornerback Josh Robinson, tackle Matt Kalil, receiver Jarius Wright and fullback Rhett Ellison. They have started four rookies on four previous occasions -- last year against Detroit (Christian Ballard, Christian Ponder, Mistral Raymond, Kyle Rudolph); in 1985 (Chris Doleman, Issiac Holt, Kirk Lowdermilk, Tim Newton); in 1963 (Lee Calland, Paul Flatley, Terry Kosens, Ray Poage); and in 1962 (Jim Christopherson, Chuck Lamson, Steve Stonebreaker, Mick Tingelhoff).
Vikings RB Adrian Peterson vs. Bears LB Lance Briggs
Peterson. He topped 100 yards rushing before the first quarter ended, giving the Vikings much-needed momentum. He finished with 154 yards and two touchdowns.
"We just went out to play ball and have fun."
-- Harrison Smith