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New England Patriots at Minnesota Vikings: Fourth Quarter Open Thread

Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

The New England Patriots got the ball to start the second half against the Minnesota Vikings, holding a 24-7 lead coming out of the locker room. Blair Walsh put them on the 20-yard line with a touchback, and within four plays the Patriots were into Minnesota territory. However, the drive eventually stalled for the Patriots, and Ryan Allen got off another beautiful punt, downed by the Patriots at the Minnesota 4-yard line.

The Vikings took the field on offense, and managed to string together a couple of first down before Matt Cassel decided to Matt Cassel. Cassel attempted to squeeze one in to Cordarrelle Patterson, and was intercepted by Logan Ryan, and the Patriots took over at the Minnesota 45-yard line after Cassel's third turnover of the afternoon. The Vikings' defense stood up after the turnover, and the Patriots had to settle for another Steven Gostkowski field goal, this one from 47 yards out. He drilled it, and extended the New England lead to 27-7 halfway through the third quarter.

The Vikings got the ball back, and proceeded to go three-and-out. Jeff Locke got a nice punt away to, but Julian Edelman countered with a nice return to allow the Patriots to start at their own 45-yard line. Tom Brady and company moved the ball down the field without meeting a lot of resistance, and Xavier Rhodes just got worked by the Brady/Edelman combo. A pass interference penalty on Rhodes put the ball at the Minnesota 12, but the Vikings defense caused the New England drive to stall, and the Patriots will attempt another field goal to start the fourth quarter with that same 27-7 lead.

Ladies and gentlemen, I'm afraid this one is basically over. The Vikings are down 20 points (soon to be 23, in all likelihood) with one quarter and no ability to get anything going on offense outside of their opening drive. Let's watch the fourth quarter and see if anything interesting happens.