After staking themselves to a 3-0 halftime lead, the Minnesota Vikings started the second half by kicking off to the Seattle Seahawks in their NFC Wild Card game. The kick from Blair Walsh went through the end zone for a touchback, and the Seahawks started with the ball at their own 20-yard line. It looked like the Vikings were going to force a three-and-out, but after a "throw" by Russell Wilson that should have been called intentional grounding, he found Doug Baldwin for a one-handed catch for 18 yards and a first down.
The Seahawks converted their next third down as well, as Wilson found the venerable Fred Jackson on 3rd-and-6 to move the Seahawks into Minnesota territory at the 47-yard line. The Vikings forced the Seahawks into another fourth down situation, as the Seahawks had 4th-and-3 at the Minnesota 40-yard line, and elected to go for it. Russell Wilson was looking for tight end Chase Coffman on the play, but it went off his hands and into the hands of rookie cornerback Trae Waynes for his first career interception! Waynes took the interception back to the Minnesota 45, and the Vikings' defense made another huge stop.
On the first play of the ensuing drive, Teddy Bridgewater found Zach Line for a 13-yard gain and a first down, and a penalty on Seattle for roughing the passer on Cliff Avril added another 15 yards, moving Minnesota down to the Seattle 28-yard line. A big negative run for Adrian Peterson pushed the Vikings back, however, and they wound up having to settle for a field goal opportunity for Blair Walsh. Walsh was good from 43 yards away, and the Vikings extended their lead to 6-0.
Walsh blasted another touchback on his next kickoff, and Seattle once again started from their own 20-yard line. The Vikings got sacks on back-to-back plays, with Everson Griffen getting to Wilson on first down and Sharrif Floyd and Danielle Hunter splitting one on second down. Seattle got back to the 20, but wound up with a three-and-out and had to punt the ball away. Marcus Sherels fielded Jon Ryan's punt and actually lost yardage on the return, but a horse collar penalty was called on Seattle's Derrick Coleman to give the Vikings 15 yards and start them in Seattle territory at the Seattle 48-yard line.
The Vikings picked up a quick first down on the next drive, thanks to a pass interference penalty on Richard Sherman. Teddy Bridgewater found Stefon Diggs a few plays later for another first down to the Seattle 27-yard line. But the Minnesota offense stalled, and Teddy Bridgewater took his first sack of the afternoon, getting taken down by Bobby Wagner at the Seattle 29-yard line. Walsh came onto the field again, this time from 48 yards out, and split the uprights once again to give Minnesota a two-possession lead at 9-0.
The Vikings had to kick off before the close of the quarter, and as we move to the fourth quarter of play, and the result was another touchback. As we move to the fourth quarter of play, the Seahawks have a 1st-and-10 from their own 34-yard line.
With fifteen minutes of play remaining, the Minnesota Vikings lead the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 9-0 in this NFC Wild Card contest. Can the Vikings survive and advance? Tune in for the fourth quarter and let's find out!