To start the second quarter of play, the Oakland Raiders found themselves trailing by a score of 10-0 and punting the ball away to the Minnesota Vikings. The punt from Marquette King was a short one (into the wind), traveling just 28 yards to set the Vikings up at their own 32-yard line.
Minnesota quickly found themselves in Raider territory thanks to an 11-yard run by Stefon Diggs and a 10-yard burst by Adrian Peterson. Peterson then carried for seven more, and Teddy Bridgewater found Peterson with a pass for another 16 yards down to the Oakland 24-yard line. The Vikings got to the Oakland 20-yard line before the drive stalled, and Blair Walsh was called upon again. He came in and hit his 17th consecutive field goal. . .not in this game, because that would be a record. . .from 38 yards out, and the Vikings went ahead 13-0.
The Raiders started their next drive from their own 28-yard line, and the first play saw a huge hit on Amari Cooper by Harrison Smith. The hit was originally flagged, but the officials picked it up. . .as they should have, because it was a clean hit. Oakland found themselves in Minnesota territory a couple of plays later on a pass from Derek Carr to Michael Crabtree, and Latavius Murray carried the ball down to the Minnesota 22. The Raiders got into the red zone on a 10-yard carry from Jamize Olawale to the 12-yard line. On 3rd-and-8 from the 10, Carr hit tight end Clive Walford in the front left corner of the end zone for a 10-yard touchdown pass. Sebastian Janikowski came in and knocked home the extra point, and the Vikings' lead was cut to 13-7.
Oakland's kickoff was short, with MyCole Pruitt fielding it and returning it to the Minnesota 33-yard line for the next drive. Minnesota's offense then went into reverse, as Bridgewater was sacked on two of the three plays of the drive before the Vikings had to punt it away. Jeff Locke came in and blasted one 50 yards down to the Oakland 26-yard line, which is where the Raiders started their next drive.
The Raiders immediately went to the air, with Amari Cooper beating Andrew Sendejo for a 38-yard reception down to the Minnesota 36-yard line. Three plays later, the Raiders found Sendejo again, this time with Carr connecting with Andre Holmes for a 34-yard touchdown. Sebastian Janikowski hit the extra point, and just like that the Vikings were trailing by a score of 14-13.
And then, for the first time in a looooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooong time. . .Cordarrelle Patterson happened. He took the Janikowski kickoff at the 7-yard line, got behind the wall to the left sideline, got past Janikowski, and took the ball 93 yards for a Minnesota touchdown. It was the third kickoff return for a touchdown of Patterson's career, and his first since his rookie season of 2013. Blair Walsh hit the extra point, and the Vikings pulled back ahead, 20-14.
The Vikings forced a quick three-and-out on the Raiders' next drive, and got the ball back at their own 48-yard line thanks to a kick catch interference penalty on Oakland on the punt. Minnesota got themselves in position for a 53-yard field goal attempt for Blair Walsh, and this time Walsh could not convert. He pushed the attempt wide to the right, ending his streak of consecutive field goals made at 17 and putting the Vikings into the locker room with a 20-14 lead.
Bridgewater has certainly had his issues thus far, as he's completed 9-of-14 passes for just 85 yards against the NFL's worst pass defense. Adrian Peterson has looked good thus far, carrying the ball 12 times for 49 yards through the first two quarters. Bridgewater's nine completions have gone to eight different receivers, with Rhett Ellison being the only player with multiple catches to this point. He has two grabs for 18 yards and a touchdown.
On the Oakland side of the ledger, Carr has completed 12-of-17 passes for 129 yards, a pair of touchdowns, and an interception. Latavius Murray, who came into the game leading the AFC in rushing, has 29 yards on six carries to lead the Raiders in that category, and Amari Cooper is Oakland's leading receiver so far, reeling in three catches for 60 yards.
We're at halftime at the O.co Coliseum in Oakland, and the Minnesota Vikings lead the Oakland Raiders by a score of 20-14. Can the Vikings hold on and take sole possession of first place in the NFC North?