To start the second quarter, the Arizona Cardinals picked up a quick first down on a pass from Carson Palmer to Larry Fitzgerald to the Arizona 40-yard line. But, they could not pick up another one, and they were forced to punt the ball away. Drew Butler punted the ball away for the Cardinals, and Marcus Sherels called for a fair catch at the Minnesota 11-yard line.
Two carries from Adrian Peterson to start the drive netted a quick first down for the Vikings, and after a scramble by Teddy Bridgewater, the Vikings set up a very nice screen to Rhett Ellison that picked up 41 yards and a first down in Arizona territory at the 35. The Vikings kept the drive going after a nice, heads-up flip from Bridgewater to Jerick McKinnon for a first down. Unfortunately, a couple of plays later, the Vikings found Jarius Wright on a short pass, but he was hit by Deone Bucannon and fumbled the ball away, with Bucannon recovering for the Cardinals for a turnover. Arizona took over at their own 15-yard line after the fumble.
The Vikings got a bit of a scare on the next drive, as cornerback Xavier Rhodes collided with safety Anthony Harris, and got his right arm crunched in the process. Rhodes did eventually come back in, and the Cardinals appeared to drive into field goal range, but rookie Danielle Hunter got to Carson Palmer for a sack to push the Cardinals far enough back where they had to punt. The punt from Butler went into the end zone, and the Vikings took over at their own 20 once again.
Peterson got things going on the next drive with a pair of carries, and then Bridgewater found Kyle Rudolph for a 17-yard gain and a first down to get the Vikings to the 45 at the two-minute warning. Coming out of the two-minute warning, Bridgewater hit MyCole Pruitt for a big 32-yard gain to the Arizona 22-yard line. Unfortunately, the Vikings' offense stalled and Bridgewater was sacked on third down by Calais Campbell, so the Vikings brought Blair Walsh in for a field goal attempt. Walsh was good from 44 yards out, and we went in to the locker room tied at ten.
For the Vikings in the first half, the offense looked pretty impressive. Peterson carried the ball 12 times for 56 yards and the Vikings' lone touchdown of the evening. Teddy Bridgewater has looked outstanding. . .amazing how that happens when you have time to throw. . .as he's completed 11-of-14 passes for 162 yards. Rhett Ellison's 41-yard reception makes him the leading receiver in terms of yardage, while Jarius Wright has four catches to lead the team in receptions.
For Arizona, Carson Palmer has performed as you'd expect, completing 12-of-16 passes for 161 yards and the long first quarter touchdown to John Brown. David Johnson has carried the ball 10 times for 53 yards to lead the Cardinals in rushing, and Brown is the Cardinals' leading receiver with three catches for 72 yards and a touchdown.
We're at halftime at University of Phoenix Stadium, with the score tied at 10-10. Minnesota will get the ball first to start the second half, as the Cardinals won the coin toss and elected to receive. Can the Vikings pull off what would be a pretty significant upset on Thursday Night Football?