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Minnesota Vikings at Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Third Quarter Open Thread

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Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The second quarter started with the Minnesota Vikings on the edge of Tampa Bay Buccaneers territory, but after an incompletion from Teddy Bridgewater to Greg Jennings, the Vikings found themselves facing 4th-and-2 from the Tampa 49. After lining up like they were going to go for it and forcing the Buccaneers to call a time out, the Vikings punted away, with Jeff Locke's punt going through the end zone for a touchback.

The Buccaneers went three-and-out on their next drive, with a holding penalty negating a nice catch-and-run by Bobby Rainey. Michael Koenen got another bad punt away, giving the Vikings decent field position at their own 39-yard line to start their third drive of the afternoon.

The next Minnesota drive started with a nice play by Greg Jennings to get to midfield on a quick screen pass. However, the drive was over three plays later after a sack of Teddy Bridgewater at midfield by Gerald McCoy. Locke came in to punt once again, and a good punt went to waste as it bounced past the coverage team into the end zone for another touchback.

Tampa went three-and-out again on their next drive, highlighted by Everson Griffen chasing down Robert Herron on an end around for no gain. Marcus Sherels returned the Koenen punt to the Minnesota 40, and that's where the Vikings picked things up.

Unfortunately, the Vikings answered the three-and-out with one of their own, and Locke got a much better punt away on this one, with the Vikings downing the ball at the Tampa Bay 13-yard line. The Buccaneers then engineered their third consecutive three-and-out, thanks to a nice job by Brian Robison of chasing down Mike Glennon on a scramble. Marcus Sherels got a great return of the Koenen punt to inside the Tampa Bay 30. . .but, as you'd expect, it came back because of a block in the back on Jabari Price. Minnesota wound up with decent field position, however, at their own 35-yard line.

It looked like the Vikings would put together a three-and-out as well, but a defensive holding penalty on Isaiah Frey bailed the Vikings out and allowed them to keep the drive going. The Vikings then found themselves facing 4th-and-1 at midfield, and the Vikings brought in the punt team. Trindon Holliday muffed the punt at his own 18-yard line, but fell on it to retain possession for the Buccaneers.

The Vikings then forced another three-and-out from the Buccaneers, thanks to back-to-back sacks from Sharrif Floyd and Everson Griffen to push the Bucs inside their own 10. The Vikings took over at their own 34-yard line, and quickly got into Tampa territory with a 19-yard pass from Bridgewater to Chase Ford. Bridgewater found Ford again for 11 more, and the Vikings pushed down to the Tampa Bay 28-yard line, with Bridgewater spiking the ball with five seconds left on the clock. Again, the Vikings called on Blair Walsh, and this time he was good from 46 to give the Vikings the only points of the first half and a 3-0 lead going into the locker room.

Bridgewater has actually been pretty efficient through two quarters of play, completing 13-of-18 for 103 yards. Jerick McKinnon has seven carries for 23 yards to lead the Vikings in rushing. The Vikings have three players that each have three receptions to lead them, with Chase Ford (37 yards), Cordarrelle Patterson (31), and Matt Asiata (21) splitting those.

The Vikings have been strong defensively, as Mike Glennon has completed just 6-of-12 for 31 yards and doesn't have a completion longer than 11 yards. Doug Martin has seven carries for 24 yards for the Buccaneers to lead them in that category, while Mike Evans is Tampa's leading receiver with two catches for 15 yards.

It has been an ugly, ugly offensive game thus far at Raymond James Stadium, but the Minnesota Vikings hold a 3-0 lead over the Buccaneers after two quarters of play. Can they hold on and get their first victory at the New Sombrero? Come join us as we find out!