The two plays above are the biggest part of the story for the Minnesota Vikings going into halftime against the Tennessee Titans at the Metrodome.
Veteran cornerback Antoine Winfield made a beautiful interception of a Matt Hasselbeck pass to get the Vikings' second turnover of the day. After the play, however, Vikings' rookie safety Harrison Smith was deemed to have made aggressive contact with an official on the play, and not only was he assessed a 15-yard penalty on the play, the officials booted him out of the game for the rest of the afternoon.
With the Vikings already short-handed at safety due to injuries to Mistral Raymond and Andrew Sendejo, young Robert Blanton is seeing (and will continue to see) extended time at safety for the remainder of this one. I don't agree with what happened to Harrison Smith, but the rules are clear. . .can't put your hands on the officials like Smith did. Hopefully the ejection today will be the extent of Smith's punishment.
The Vikings' first touchdown was a 4-yard run by Percy Harvin that came after he caught a beautiful 45-yard rainbow from Ponder. That play was the Vikings' longest offensive play of the season (by 16 yards). Blair Walsh has added a couple of field goals, one from 42 and another from 36, to extend the lead to 13-0. On the Vikings' final drive of the first half, Christian Ponder threw his first interception in 145 pass attempts, as he overshot Kyle Rudolph, and the bouncing ball was corralled by Tennessee's Robert Johnson. It was the second of two consecutive ugly throws by Ponder, and his streak came to an end. It cost the Vikings at least three points, as they were well within range for Blair Walsh.
The Vikings have generated two turnovers of their own, as Jasper Brinkley forced a Chris Johnson fumble that was recovered by Harrison Smith in the first quarter, and there was the interception by Winfield that you see above in the second.
Minnesota has dominated this one so far, outgaining the Titans to the tune of 226-87. However, their lead is only 13 points, which can't make Vikings fans feel super comfortable at this point.
So, as we sit at halftime of this one, the Minnesota Vikings lead the Tennessee Titans at the Metrodome by a score of 13-0. Join us for the third quarter of play right here!