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New York Giants at Minnesota Vikings: Third Quarter Open Thread

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Holding a 7-0 lead over the New York Giants, the Minnesota Vikings found themselves looking at a 3rd-and-6 from their own 37-yard line. Sam Bradford looked like he had Stefon Diggs open for a first down, but Diggs dropped the pass and the Vikings had to call on Jeff Locke to punt the ball away. New York took possession on their own 13-yard line for their fourth possession of the evening.

New York got a quick first down on a pass from Eli Manning to Victor Cruz, but the Giants could move no further after a pass to Sterling Shepard fell incomplete on third down. Brad Wing came on to punt for the fourth time in the game's first 17 minutes, and Marcus Sherels took the ball to the Minnesota 35-yard line for Minnesota's next drive.

Minnesota's drive got off to a rough start after a 1-yard pass to Diggs on first down, followed by a holding penalty on Alex Boone. Bradford then found Adam Thielen. . .THEE-LINE, if you listen to Jon Gruden. . .for an 18-yard gain and a first down. Jerick McKinnon then carried for ten more yards and another first down into Giants' territory at the 45. A "Wildcat" run for McKinnon and a run by Matt Asiata gave the Vikings another first down, and Bradford then found Diggs for a 21-yard gain to the New York 13-yard line. Then, on 3rd-and-4 from the 7-yard line, Bradford found Kyle Rudolph in the back of the end zone for a seven-yard touchdown pass. Blair Walsh added the extra point, and the Vikings found themselves leading 14-0 with eight minutes left in the first half.

This is the third straight game with a touchdown catch for Rudolph, and moved him into second place in the Vikings' record books for touchdown passes by a tight end. It was the 25th of his career, trailing only Steve Jordan's 28 career scoring catches.

Minnesota had excellent coverage on Walsh's next kickoff, with Justin Trattou taking Dwayne Harris down at the 17-yard line. The Giants picked up a first down to start the drive, but an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Odell Beckham put the Giants behind the chains. New York got themselves into a 4th-and-1 situation and failed to draw the Vikings offsides, so Brad Wing came back out to punt again. Sherels let this one bounce, and the Giants downed the 48-yard punt at the Minnesota 12-yard line.

The Vikings couldn't get anything going on their next drive, as Matt Asiata got taken down for a loss on 3rd-and-1. Minnesota called on Jeff Locke for his fourth punt of the evening, and he got another good punt off, booting it 47 yards with Dwayne Harris fair catching it at the New York 34-yard line.

A quick pass to Victor Cruz and a run by Bobby Rainey got the Giants into Minnesota territory at the 48-yard line at the two-minute warning. Another pass to Cruz got the Giants to the 40, and after a run stuff on third down, the Giants chose to go for it on 4th-and-4 from the Minnesota 39. Unfortunately, Everson Griffen gave the Giants the conversion by jumping offside, and the drive continued for New York. The Giants pushed their way down to the Minnesota 17-yard line with six seconds remaining, and they called on Josh Brown for a 35-yard field goal attempt. After a delay of game, it turned into a 40-yard attempt, and Brown converted it to get the Giants at the board at 14-3, which is how we went into the locker room.

Looking at the stat sheet, the Vikings haven't been burning it up. Sam Bradford has completed 10-of-15 passes for 88 yards and a touchdown. Stefon Diggs is leading the Vikings in receiving with two catches for 23 yards, with Cordarrelle Patterson and Adam Thielen each recording 21 yards in the first half (Patterson on one reception, Thielen on two). Jerick McKinnon has been pretty effective in the run game, carrying the ball seven times for 56 yards in the first half.

On the New York side, Eli Manning has completed 13-of-21 passes for 111 yards through the first two quarters, and has basically looked to be scared to death of the Minnesota pass rush despite only getting hit once. Victor Cruz is pacing the Giants on the receiving end, bringing in four catches for 36 yards, while Sterling Shepard and Odell Beckham have each caught three passes. Orleans Darkwa is leading the Giants in rushing, as he's put up 40 yards on eight carries.

We're at halftime at U.S. Bank Stadium, and the Minnesota Vikings lead the New York Football Giants by a score of 14-3. Minnesota will get the ball first coming out of the locker room at halftime. Can they add to their lead? Come on in and join us for the third quarter of play!