The New England Patriots won the opening coin toss and chose to defer to the second half. That meant the Minnesota Vikings opened the game with the ball for the second week in a row.
The Vikings started their first drive from the 20 after the opening kickoff went through the end zone. Matt Cassel found Kyle Rudolph for a 17-yard completion on 3rd-and-9 and found him for nine more on the next play to move the Vikings along. After a big pass to Rhett Ellison for 24 yards, Cassel dropped back and found Matt Asiata in the right flat, and Asiata did the rest. The connection for the touchdown was 25 yards, and it put the Vikings ahead 7-0 just four minutes into the game.
Cassel went 4-of-4 for 75 yards on the first drive, as the Vikings wound up netting zero rushing yards. Asiata carried twice for five yards, but Jarius Wright lost five on an attempted end around. The touchdown was the first receiving score of Asiata's career.
New England started their first drive from the 20 after a Blair Walsh touchback, and did not fare as well as the Vikings did, going three-and-out on their first possession. Strangely, they called three running plays on the drive, even on third-and-8. Ryan Allen got a great punt away for New England, and the Vikings were pinned back at their own 12-yard line.
The Vikings shot themselves in the foot with penalties again, with a couple of false starts, and on third down Matt Cassel tried to go deep for Jarius Wright. Unfortunately, he came up short and the pass was intercepted by Devin McCourty. McCourty returned the interception all the way down to the Minnesota 1-yard line.
It didn't take much for the Patriots to get the equalizer after that, as Stevan Ridley carried the ball over the goal line on second-and-goal. Steven Gostkowski's extra point tied the score at 7 with just over six minutes remaining.
After another touchback, the Vikings started from the 20 again, and proceeded to go three-and-out. The Jeff Locke punt put the Patriots at their own 30-yard line after a holding penalty. The Patriots marched deep into Minnesota territory, and on third-and-11 Julian Edelman fumbled on a quick screen pass. The Patriots somehow fell on top of the fumble, and the Patriots brought on Gostkowski for a 48-yard field goal. The kick was good, and the Patriots took a 10-7 lead.
That's where we stand as we head on to the second quarter of play, with the Vikings looking at 2nd-and-13 from their own 17-yard line. Can the Vikings get back on track offensively? We're ready to find out!