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Minnesota Vikings at Baltimore Ravens: Third Quarter Open Thread

Boy, where have I seen this before?
Boy, where have I seen this before?
Larry French

The Minnesota Vikings collected one first down on their opening drive of the second quarter, but then had to punt the ball away to the Baltimore Ravens. Baltimore then went three-and-out on their next possession, thanks in part to very nice defensive plays by Xavier Rhodes and Chad Greenway, and Sam Koch's punt went through the end zone for a touchback to give the Vikings the ball at the 20.

On third down on that drive, Adrian Peterson took a short pass, headed towards the right sideline, and went down hard. He has an ankle injury, and he is questionable to return. The Vikings went three-and-out on the drive, as Peterson came up short of the first down, and the Ravens responded in kind with a three-and-out of their own.

The ensuing drive started with Toby Gerhart ripping off a 21-yard run to put the Vikings into Baltimore territory. The drive eventually got to a 4th-and-2 at the Baltimore 38-yard line, and Leslie Frazier elected to roll the dice and go for it. The Vikings picked up the first down as Matt Cassel found Jerome Simpson for enough yardage to get a fresh set of downs. On the next third down, Cordarrelle Patterson appeared to have enough for a first down, but it was wiped out by an "illegal peelback" penalty on Joe Berger (in the game for the injured Brandon Fusco). I certainly didn't see a penalty, but the officials did. The Vikings got a little bit of the yardage back on the next play, and had to bring Blair Walsh in for a field goal attempt. The NFL's best kicker was good from 39 yards out, and the lead was cut to 7-3.

Baltimore then proceeded to go three-and-out again. . .five of their first seven drives went that way. . .and the Vikings took over at their own 33-yard line. A 19-yard pass to Cordarrelle Patterson put the Vikings into Baltimore territory, and a pass to Greg Jennings took us to the two-minute warning. However, the drive stalled, and Jeff Locke's punt went through the end zone for a touchback.

The Ravens put together a decent drive at the end of the first half, advancing to the Minnesota 40-yard line. Rather than attempt a 57-yard field goal, the Ravens went for a Hail Mary, but a sack by Jared Allen ended the half.

There hasn't been a whole lot in the way of statistics in the first half of play. Adrian Peterson had just 13 yards on seven carries before his injury, and Toby Gerhart has 19 yards on five carries in relief. Matt Cassel has completed just 10-of-21 passes for 114 yards, with Cordarrelle Patterson having nearly half of those yards (three catches for 58 yards). Joe Flacco has a pretty awful completion percentage, hitting on just 9-of-22 pass attempts for 82 yards, along with a touchdown pass and an interception. He's also Baltimore's leading rusher, courtesy of a 22-yard carry that set up Baltimore's touchdown. Ray Rice has managed just 18 yards on eight carries, and Rice is Baltimore's leading receiver with three catches for 34 yards.

The Minnesota Vikings trail the Baltimore Ravens at halftime by a score of 7-3 at M&T Bank Stadium, ladies and gentlemen. The Vikings will get the ball coming out of the locker room, as they deferred after winning the coin toss. Can they come the rest of the way back (presumably) without the reigning MVP? We'll have to watch and find out.