Halftime: Patterson's TD run gives Vikings 7-6 lead over Bears
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MINNEAPOLIS - Minnesota Vikings coach Leslie Frazier said after the Week 2 loss at the Chicago Bears that he wanted to 'rectify' the problem that kept the ball out of rookie receiver Cordarrelle Patterson's hands.
In Week 13, Patterson got his first rushing attempt since the Oct. 21 loss at the New York Giants and he took it 33 yards for the Vikings' lone touchdown in the first half against the Chicago Bears. Minnesota leads 7-6.
Pass protection doomed quarterback Christian Ponder and the Vikings offense as they allowed three third-down sacks and could gain just 14 net yards through the air. Ponder targeted receiver Jerome Simpson, who is behind Patterson on the depth chart since last month, a team-high five times on six pass attempts.
A youth movement has surged through the Vikings following a 2-8-1 record through November as rookie cornerback Xavier Rhodes recorded his team-high 16th pass deflection of the season in man coverage on Bears receiver Brandon Marshall in the first quarter.
Linebacker Audie Cole started his second consecutive game in place of Erin Henderson, who is active and did not play in the first half following a Nov. 19 arrest on suspicion of drunken driving. He has not played since.
Safety Robert Blanton continued to get looks at nickel cornerback and was flagged for an offside penalty that negated linebacker Chad Greenway's interception of Bears quarterback Josh McCown. The Vikings held on the following set of downs to force the first-half field goal.
Blanton was flagged for two defensive holding penalties in a tie at Lambeau Field last week, one of which negated Greenway's sack on third down.
Running back Adrian Peterson averaged 6.5 yards per carry on 11 attempts in the first half against the league's worst rushing defense. The Vikings have 107 rushing yards as a team compared to 14 net passing yards.