To start the second quarter of play in Nashville, the Minnesota Vikings found themselves looking at a 3rd-and-1 from the 13-yard line, trailing the Tennessee Titans by a score of 3-0. Adrian Peterson picked up the first down on the ground to keep Minnesota's drive going, but Peterson then promptly lost two yards on first down. . .and then he lost two more on second down to set up 3rd-and-14. A holding penalty on Andre Smith then pushed the Vikings back ten more yards. Minnesota ran a draw with Jerick McKinnon on 3rd-and-24, and set up Blair Walsh for a 37-yard field goal attempt. Walsh pushed the attempt to the left, and the Titans remained on top by a score of 3-0.
Tennessee started their next drive at their own 27-yard line, and quickly found themselves near midfield again on a pass from Marcus Mariota to rookie Derrick Henry. DeMarco Murray then carried the ball over midfield for the Titans, but a false start on Taylor Lewan pushed them back again. The Vikings' defense held on a third down play, and the Titans were forced to punt again. Brett Kern's effort was fair caught by Marcus Sherels at the Minnesota 10-yard line.
After a short run by Peterson, Shaun Hill found Kyle Rudolph for a nice 16-yard gain. Unfortunately, the Vikings shot themselves in the foot with a face mask penalty on Rhett Ellison to push them back to the 14-yard line and giving them 2nd-and-22. Hill then found Adam Thielen on third down for 21 yards, but it was just short of the line to gain thanks to a nice tackle by Tennessee safety Rashad Johnson. Jeff Locke came in to punt, and Locke's punt was fairly bad. It traveled just 36 yards, and was fair caught by Marc Mariani at the Tennessee 26-yard line.
Mariota started things off with a short pass to Delanie Walker, and then found Tajae Sharpe for 12 yards to the Tennessee 45. The Vikings forced Tennessee into a third down, but Mariota found veteran receiver Harry Douglas for a 16-yard gain down to the Minnesota 30-yard line at the two-minute warning. Tennessee converted another third down on a throw from Mariota to Sharpe to get to the Minnesota 20-yard line. Mariota then converted another third down, finding Murray to get the Titans down to the 6-yard line. The Titans capped the drive with a touchdown, as Mariota found Murray once again for a 6-yard score, and Ryan Succop hit the extra point to make the score 10-0.
Hill got Minnesota into field goal range. . .sort of. . .as the Vikings got down to the Tennessee 38-yard line and the Vikings brought out Walsh for a 56-yard field goal attempt. Unfortunately, Walsh once again pushed the kick to the left. . .and "pushed" is a generous assessment. . .and the two teams went into the locker room trailing by a score of 10-0.
Looking at the stat sheet, Shaun Hill hasn't been that bad this afternoon. He's completed 11-of-19 passes for 124 yards through one half of play. Adrian Peterson has done next to nothing so far, collecting just 20 yards on nine carries. Stefon Diggs has carried the load for the receiving corps, as he's brought in four catches for 46 yards, while Kyle Rudolph has 47 yards on three catches.
For the Titans, the rushing game has picked up 48 yards on 14 carries, with DeMarco Murray leading the way with 32 yards on nine carries. Mariota has completed 13-of-21 passes for 146 yards and a touchdown, while Tajae Sharpe and Derrick Henry each have 41 yards receiving to lead the way for the Titans.
The Vikings will get the ball first coming out of the locker room, and they need to get something going as they find themselves down by a score of 10-0. Join us here for the third quarter of play!