To start the second quarter of play, the Detroit Lions were sitting on a 2nd-and-5 from their own 25-yard line, with the score tied at 7-7 with the Minnesota Vikings. Detroit got another third down conversion on a throw from Matthew Stafford to Golden Tate that picked up 18 yards to the Detroit 45-yard line. Minnesota forced another third down, but Stafford managed to pick it up with his feet. . .yes, on a scramble. . .to move Detroit into Minnesota territory at the 45. The Minnesota defense stepped things up after that, however, managing to get a stop and forcing the Lions to punt. Sam Martin came in and booted it away, and it was fair caught by Adam Thielen at the Minnesota 12-yard line to set the Vikings up for their second drive of the afternoon.
Unfortunately, the Vikings' offense couldn't do much with the ball on their second try, as they wound up going three-and-out. Minnesota brought Jeff Locke in for his first punting opportunity of the afternoon, and he did a decent job of it, as he booted a 50-yarder that was fair caught by Andre Roberts at the Detroit 30-yard line.
It didn't take long for the Lions to get going again, however, as Stafford found Tate once again for a huge 41-yard gain down to the Minnesota 29 after a blown coverage by Andrew Sendejo. Theo Riddick then took a handoff up the middle for 12 yards to the 17, and the Lions were in the red zone once more. Detroit got down to the 11, but could advance no further after a pass breakup by Trae Waynes on third down. Matt Prater came on for a 29-yard field goal attempt, and he connected to make the score 10-7 in favor of the Lions.
Cordarrelle Patterson got an opportunity to return the kickoff from Sam Martin, but the Lions did a good job in coverage and brought him down at the 18-yard line. Minnesota got five free yards thanks to a penalty on Detroit for too many men on the field, and a carry by Jerick McKinnon got them to the 30 for a first down. Sam Bradford then found Rhett Ellison on a GREAT catch to pick up 21 yards into Detroit territory at the 49-yard line. Minnesota got themselves into a 4th-and-2 at the 41-yard line, and the Vikings lined up to go for it. It didn't work out, as Bradford's pass was tipped at the line of scrimmage and it fell incomplete for a turnover on downs.
The Lions started the drive with a Dwayne Washington carry to midfield, but wound up with a 4th-and-1 at midfield. The Lions elected to go for it and went with a fullback dive with Zach Zenner, but Harrison Smith stoned him to stop him short of the first down and give the Vikings the ball back at midfield. Jim Caldwell challenged the spot, but the call stood and the Vikings took over at their own 49.
Even with the shift in momentum, the Vikings picked an awful time for a three-and-out, but that's what they did. Jeff Locke came in to punt it away again, and pinned the Lions down again, this time at their own 13-yard line.
Detroit moved the ball downfield a bit on their drive with no timeouts, quickly getting themselves into Minnesota territory at the 49, but could advance no further. Rather than letting Prater try a 67-yard field goal, the Lions tried a Hail Mary that fell incomplete, taking us into the locker room with the Lions leading, 10-7.
Sam Bradford has been efficient, completing 13-of-17 passes, but he only has 93 yards through the air thus far. He has not been sacked thus far, but he's taken a couple of pretty solid shots. Kyle Rudolph and Adam Thielen have four receptions each, with Rudolph collecting 37 yards and Thielen getting 27. The running game has been about what it usually is, with Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata combining for 17 yards on 7 carries thus far.
For Detroit, Stafford completed his first eight passes in a row, but finished the half just 15-of-26 for 154 yards and a touchdown. Golden Tate leads the Lions in receiving with 63 yards on three catches, and Theo Riddick is Detroit's leading rusher with 30 yards on five carries.
At halftime at Ford Field, the Minnesota Vikings trail the Detroit Lions by a score of 10-7 in the battle for first place in the NFC North. Come on in and join us for the third quarter of play!