To start the second quarter of play at TCF Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings held a 3-0 lead over the Seattle Seahawks, with Seattle facing 2nd-and-5 from their own 33-yard line. Harrison Smith picked up a big tackle for a loss on second down, but Russell Wilson found Jermaine Kearse to get just enough for a first down for the Seahawks. (Mike Zimmer challenged the spot on the play, but the ruling was upheld.) Anthony Barr made a big stop on Russell Wilson on the next third down, and the Seahawks had to bring in Jon Ryan. . .broken nose and all. . .to punt it away. The punt from Ryan was a short one, with the Seahawks downing the ball at their own 28-yard line, a punt of just 26 yards.
The Minnesota offense couldn't do anything with the ball on offense, thanks in large part to a big hit by Earl Thomas on a play where Teddy Bridgewater had found Jerick McKinnon down the seam. McKinnon got his hands on the ball, but Thomas hit him and knocked it away. Jeff Locke came on to punt again, and Tyler Lockett's return set the Seahawks up at the Seattle 39-yard line for their next possession.
Seattle quickly got into Minnesota territory, thanks to a pass from Russell Wilson to Doug Baldwin that picked up 22 yards to the Minnesota 38-yard line. Wilson then carried one himself for 11 yards to the Minnesota 27 for another first down. However, the Vikings' defense stood up and forced Seattle into a 4th-and-14 situation, and the Seahawks elected to go for it rather than try a long field goal in these conditions. Wilson tossed a dump-off pass to Fred Jackson over the middle, and the Vikings' defense stopped him well short of the first down, giving them the ball back on downs at their own 23-yard line.
Adrian Peterson started the next drive with a 13-yard burst, easily his best run of the day, and Bridgewater followed that up with a dart to MyCole Pruitt for a 19-yard gain to the Seattle 47. The drive stalled out from there thanks to some nice tackling by Seattle, and the Vikings had to punt it away once again. Locke came in to punt, and the Vikings' special teams did a good job, hemming Lockett in after a short return and forcing the Seahawks to start at their own 14-yard line.
Having burned all of their timeouts early in the half, the Seahawks attempted to put together a two-minute drive. It looked like the Vikings were going to get a stop on 3rd-and-5, but Xavier Rhodes committed a pretty bad pass interference penalty against Tyler Lockett to give the Seahawks a big chunk of yardage down to the Minnesota 40-yard line. Rhodes didn't turn to look for the ball and took Lockett down in the open field, making it an easy call. However, Minnesota's defense got the job done again, and the Seahawks were forced to punt the ball away. Ryan's punt was downed by the Seahawks at the 9-yard line. Minnesota just took a couple of knees from there, and went into the locker room with a 3-0 halftime lead.
As you'd expect in a 3-0 game, nobody is exactly tearing up the stat sheet right now. Adrian Peterson has carried the ball 14 times so far, but has gained just 31 yards on those carries. Teddy Bridgewater has completed 9-of-13 passes for 69 yards, while the Vikings' leading receiver is MyCole Pruitt with 22 yards on two catches.
For Seattle, Russell Wilson has been kept in check so far. He has completed just 6-of-11 passes for 39 yards. Christine Michael has carried the ball eight times for 28 yards to lead Seattle in rushing, while Doug Baldwin is leading the Seahawks in receiving with three receptions for 22 yards.
The Minnesota Vikings lead the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 3-0 at halftime of the first NFC Wild Card playoff game on this Sunday. Can they hold on and advance to the divisional round? Come watch the game with us and find out!