To start the second half at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings kicked the ball deep to the Houston Texans, holding a 24-6 lead. Tyler Ervin managed to get a pretty decent return, as he took the ball out to the Houston 31-yard line. Brian Robison started things out right for the Vikings, dropping Brock Osweiler for an 8-yard loss, his second sack on the afternoon. The Texans couldn't recover, having to go three-and-out once again. Shane Lechler punted the ball to Marcus Sherels, and he took the ball to the Minnesota 21 for the Vikings' first possession of the second half.
The connection between Sam Bradford and Adam Thielen got things going to start the drive, as Bradford hit him for a big 31-yard catch to move the Vikings into Houston territory at the 48. A run for a loss by Jerick McKinnon and a false start penalty on Jeremiah Sirles pushed the Vikings back into their own territory, and a facemask penalty on T.J. Clemmings turned it into 3rd-and-30. Jeff Locke came in to punt it away again, and Ervin took the return to the Houston 25-yard line.
Houston's offense struggled again, and found themselves facing 3rd-and-9 from their own 26. Osweiler dropped back to pass and appeared to be looking for Jaelen Strong, but he wound up finding Andrew Sendejo for his first interception of the season! Sendejo got the return to the Houston 48-yard line, but an unsportsmanlike penalty on Anthony Barr pushed it back to the Minnesota 37-yard line.
Minnesota pushed into Houston territory with a ten-yard pass from Bradford to Adam Thielen, putting Thielen over the 100-yard mark for the first time in his career. However, the drive stalled out there, and the Vikings called on Jeff Locke to punt it away again. Locke did a nice job on the kick, with Ervin having to call for a fair catch at the Houston 9-yard line.
Osweiler started the next drive by completing his first pass of the day to DeAndre Hopkins, a six-yarder. He then found Jaelen Strong for 15 more to get out of the shadow of the goalposts. Hopkins got another catch, this one for 11 yards, and the Texans found themselves near midfield. Hopkins struck again on the next play, catching one for 25 yards down to the Minnesota 33-yard line to extend Houston's best drive of the day. The Vikings' defense forced the Texans into a 3rd-and-7 at the 30, and Sebastian Thunderbucket. . .who you might know as Tom Johnson. . .sacked Osweiler for a 9-yard loss. Houston chose to go for it on 4th-and-16, and ran. . .a wide receiver screen to Will Fuller, who came up well short of the line to gain. The Vikings took over on downs at their own 35-yard line.
Minnesota picked up a first down on their first three plays of the drive, and Bradford then found Kyle Rudolph for a 14-yard gain to the Houston 37-yard line. On 3rd-and-1, Bradford hit Asiata again, and the big man rumbled for a 20-yard gain to the Houston 8-yard line. That's where we are as we move to the fourth quarter of play, with Minnesota looking at a first-and-goal.
Fifteen minutes to go from U.S. Bank Stadium, and the Minnesota Vikings are holding a 24-6 lead and on the doorstep for more. Can they hold on and move to 5-0? Come watch the rest of the game with us and find out!