The Vikings faced a big decision early in the second quarter, as a pass from Matt Cassel to Kyle Rudolph gave them a 4th-and-1 from the St. Louis 28-yard line. Like Jeff Fisher, Mike Zimmer decided to settle for the field goal, and Blair Walsh was good again from 46 to extend the Minnesota lead to 6-0.
The Rams started from their own 20 after a touchback, and got some help from a 15-yard penalty on Captain Munnerlyn for tackling Chris Givens out of bounds. It looked like a pretty terrible call, but I'm biased. However, the Vikings eventually held without giving up another first down, and Marcus Sherels went back to field the Johnny Hekker punt. Sherels took a hellacious shot from a Rams player before he got an opportunity to catch the ball, and was very slow to get up. The officials ruled that the player was blocked into Sherels, so there was no penalty on the play, and the Vikings took over at their own 20.
Penalties killed the Vikings' next possession, as a holding penalty on Cordarrelle Patterson and a second false start on Matt Kalil. . .as well as a false start on the punt. . .pushed the Vikings back. Jeff Locke got a nice punt away, and a nice special teams tackle by Rhett Ellison on Tavon Austin put the Rams at their own 38-yard line.
The next drive turned into a flag fest. . .too many to recap here. . .but when the smoke cleared, the Rams punted after a 4th-and-17 from the Minnesota 48-yard line. Sherels came back into the game to return the punt, but let it go over his head, causing the Vikings to start from their own 8-yard line.
The Vikings made a decent push once again, including a big 18-yard throw from Matt Cassel to Greg Jennings on a 3rd-and-10 before the two-minute warning. The Vikings managed to shoot themselves in the foot, however, including a dropped snap by Cassel to kill their momentum, and they brought Locke in to punt it away again.
The Rams took over on their own 25 after the punt return, and on second down Shaun Hill was looking for Jared Cook, and instead found Josh Robinson. . .yes, that Josh Robinson. . .who made a great leaping catch and got both feet in bounds for an interception. Minnesota set themselves up with nice field position at the St. Louis 35-yard line.
A run by Adrian Peterson and a short pass to Cordarrelle Patterson got the Vikings down to the St. Louis 17-yard line with 37 seconds left. A pass to Peterson got the Vikings down to the 8, and then Matt Cassel found Greg Jennings for the first touchdown of 2014. The Blair Walsh extra point made the score 13-0 in favor of Minnesota, and that's where we stand at halftime.
Through the first half of play, Matt Cassel has completed 10-of-16 passes for for 105 yards and a touchdown. Adrian Peterson has carried the ball 11 times for 35 yards, and has chipped in with two catches for 18 yards. Jennings is the Vikings' leading receiver thus far with four catches for 48 yards and a score. Cordarrelle Patterson has two catches for 15 yards and two carries for 35 yards. Kyle Rudolph has just one catch for nine yards, and Jarius Wright has one 15-yard reception.
Jerick McKinnon has carried the ball once for no gain, and Matt Asiata has two carries for ten yards.
The Minnesota Vikings lead the St. Louis Rams at halftime at the Edward Jones Dome by a score of 13-0.