Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Halftime report: Vikings 7, Bears 6

Posted by: Master Tesfatsion Updated: December 1, 2013 - 1:35 PM

The Vikings have a 7-6 halftime lead over the Bears at the Metrodome. Quarterback Christian Ponder is being evaluated for concussion symptoms and his return is questionable. Matt Cassel took the final snap of the half at quarterback.

The good: Wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson became the first rookie in Vikings history to score a touchdown in three different ways (rushing, receiving and kickoff return). Patterson completed the feat on a 33-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter. Patterson, lined up in the backfield, broke two tackles on the toss play to complete a five-play, 90-yard drive in 2:33.

The Vikings have 107 rushing yards on 17 attempts against the worst run defense in the NFL.

Cornerback Xavier Rhodes also had a nice half covering Bears wide recievers Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery. He deflected a pass covering Marshall in the end zone in the first quarter.

The bad: Linebacker Chad Greenway had a positive defensive play taken away on a Robert Blanton penalty in consecutive week. The safety was called for offsides in the first quarter when Greenway intercepted Bears quarterback Josh McCown. Last week against the Packers, Blanton was called for holding on a sack by Greenway.

The ugly: Quarterback Christian Ponder was ineffective on third down throughout the first half. The Vikings were 0-for-5, and Ponder was sacked on the first three third down attempts. He went 1 of 2 for two yards on the other two third down attempts.

Ponder was drilled on his only completed third down pass with 1:12 left in the half. He went into the locker room to be evaluated for concussion symptoms after the play. Cassel received a loud ovation as he took the final for the final play of the half.

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