The second quarter started with the Detroit Lions bringing on new kicker Matt Prater to attempt a 49-yard field goal. And, just like most of the Lions' kickers this year, Prater was bad, pushing the ball wide left and giving the Minnesota Vikings good field position to start their next drive.
Unfortunately, the Vikings could only manage a second consecutive three-and-out, concluding with another sack of Teddy Bridgewater that saw the ball come loose, but the Vikings recovered. Matt Kalil got toasted by Ezekiel Ansah on the play, and Phil Loadholt recovered the fumble. After the Jeff Locke punt, the Lions started out at their own 27-yard line on their next drive.
The Lions' next drive started off with a holding penalty, and a very nice pass break-up by Xavier Rhodes. On the next play, Tom Johnson hit Matthew Stafford on a pass rush, and Stafford looked to be slow to get up. The Lions got a few yards on a screen to Theo Riddick, but were still forced to punt the ball back to Minnesota after a three-and-out. Sam Martin got off a gigantic punt, and even after a nice return by Sherels, the Vikings still had to start the drive at their own 17-yard line.
The Vikings got a decent start to their next drive, thanks to a quick checkdown to Jerick McKinnon for a first down. (McKinnon touched the ball on 8 of Minnesota's first 16 plays.) However, the drive ended in the same way the Vikings' previous two drives ended. . .with a sack of Teddy Bridgewater. Jeff Locke came on to punt again, and the Lions took over at their own 32-yard line.
The Lions got as far as midfield on their next drive, but a holding penalty on Joique Bell and a drop by Tate forced them to punt the ball away. Marcus Sherels called for a fair catch, and the Vikings took over at their own 10-yard line.
The next Vikings drive got off to a rough start with a holding penalty on Vlad Ducasse and a 3-yard loss on a run by Matt Asiata. Bridgewater got a pass away to Charles Johnson. . .yes, Charles Johnson. . .for 15 yards, but they could not get any more and were forced to punt the ball away again. After the punt, the Lions were in good field position again at their own 42-yard line.
Jasper Brinkley started the next drive off with a sack of Matthew Stafford, and the Vikings held the Lions to a three-and-out. However, on the third down play, defensive tackle Shariff Floyd went down holding his right knee. He jogged off the field under his own power, and we'll have an update on his status when one becomes available. Sam Martin's punt went through the end zone, and the Vikings started from their own 20-yard line.
After the two-minute warning, the Vikings got a first down on another checkdown to McKinnon. However, that was all they could manage, as the drive ended with another third down sack of Bridgewater. Locke punted away again, and they took over at their own 23-yard line with 1:36 left on the clock.
The Lions did the Vikings a favor by throwing three quick incomplete passes and nearly throwing an interception, but they had to punt the ball away after running just 12 seconds off the clock. Marcus Sherels fumbled the initial punt return, but a raft of penalties caused a re-kick and the Vikings took over at their own 30-yard line with just under a minute to play.
The drive got started with a nice screen pass from Bridgewater to Matt Asiata for an 18-yard gain, putting the Vikings near midfield. Then, on the next play, Bridgewater looked for Asiata again, but the ball went off of his hands and into the hands of linebacker Tahir Whitehead for Bridgewater's second INT of the day. The pick was all on Asiata, as he just botched the attempt at the catch. That gave the Lions the ball back with 45 seconds left.
The Lions did manage to capitalize on the drive, as Matt Prater hammered one home from 52 yards to give the Lions a 10-0 lead, and that's where we stand going into halftime.
As you can imagine, the offensive numbers look pretty ugly for the Vikings. Bridgewater is 7-of-13 for 54 yards, no touchdowns, and two interceptions (again, only one of which is really his fault). Jerick McKinnon is the team's leading rusher with 22 yards on seven carries. Jarius Wright has 21 yards on one carry. McKinnon and Asiata are tied for the lead in receiving yards with 18 each (Asiata's on one catch, McKinnon's on four), Charles Johnson has a 15-yard reception as well.
The Vikings' defense has actually played very well thus far. The Lions are 0-for-7 on third down so far this afternoon, which is an area that the Vikings have had issues with this season. The Vikings' offensive line has been getting killed so far this afternoon, which hasn't helped the team's cause.