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St. Louis Rams at Minnesota Vikings: Third Quarter Open Thread

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Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

To start the second quarter, the Minnesota Vikings picked up a first down on 3rd-and-3 after a pass interference penalty on the St. Louis Rams. Unfortunately, the Vikings could advance no further, and were forced to punt the football away. Tavon Austin returned Jeff Locke's punt to the St. Louis 35, and that's where the Rams started their fourth drive of the afternoon.

St. Louis quickly moved into Minnesota territory with Nick Foles finding Kenny Britt for a 23-yard gain to the Minnesota 40-yard line. However, the Vikings' defense stood firm after that and stopped the Rams at the Minnesota 43-yard line. The Rams chose to bring in Greg Zuerlein for a 61-yard. . .yes, sixty-one yard. . .field goal attempt. The man they call "Greg the Leg" put the ball through the uprights (thanks in no small part to the wind), and the Minnesota lead was cut to one at 10-9.

The Vikings started their next drive at their own 20-yard line after a touchback, and got things going quickly with an 11-yard run by Peterson. The offense stalled out from there, however, and the Vikings punted the ball away. Jeff Locke got a pretty good punt away, as the Vikings swarmed Tavon Austin at the St. Louis 26-yard line.

A penalty on Captain Munnerlyn gave the Rams a decent chunk of yardage, and the Rams then faced 4th-and-1 from the Minnesota 48-yard line. They picked up the yardage via a quarterback sneak by Foles, and kept their drive going. Back-to-back runs by Gurley and Austin each picked up first downs for the Rams, and soon they were in the Minnesota red zone. However, the Minnesota defense finally slowed down the Rams, forcing them to bring on Zuerlein again. He was good from 35 yards out, and the Rams suddenly had the lead, 12-10, with 3:23 left in the half.

Minnesota started the next drive from their own 21-yard line after another short return for Cordarrelle Patterson. Peterson started the drive off with another big run, picking up 15 yards. However, once again, the Vikings couldn't do anything with the football, as Bridgewater misfired on a pass to a wide-open Mike Wallace and the drive stalled out. The punt from Jeff Locke put the Rams back at their own 15-yard line with 1:49 to go until halftime.

The Rams got themselves to midfield thanks to a couple of runs from Tavon Austin with about a minute left in the half. Foles then found Lance Kendricks for a 20-yard gain down to the Minnesota 30. The Vikings slowed the Rams down again, but the result was yet another field goal by Zuerlein to make it 15-10 in favor of the visitors going into the locker room at halftime.

Teddy Bridgewater has had his issues this afternoon. His stats say that he's 9-for-14 for 83 yards, but he's had some pretty bad misses on plays that could have extended drives. Bridgewater's nine completions have gone to nine different receivers, with Charles Johnson having the longest catch on the afternoon with 25 yards. Adrian Peterson has carried the ball 11 times for 51 yards and a score.

For the Rams, Todd Gurley has been effectively bottled up by the Minnesota defense so far. He's carried the ball 11 times, but has gained just 34 yards. He did score the only touchdown for the Rams thus far. Tavon Austin is the Rams' leading rusher at this point, with five carries for 48 yards. Foles has completed 11-of-19 passes for 131 yards. Kenny Britt has two catches for 78 yards thus far for the Rams, including a big 55-yarder to set up the Rams' lone touchdown.

At halftime at TCF Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings trail the St. Louis Rams by a score of 15-10, with the Vikings getting the ball coming out of the locker room at halftime. Can they get the momentum back when the second half begins?