The Minnesota Vikings started the second quarter with the football at their own 49-yard line, sitting in a 3-3 tie with the Baltimore Ravens. Two nice carries from Latavius Murray picked up a first down to the Baltimore 40. A pass to Laquon Treadwell on third down came up short of the sticks, and Kai Forbath was asked to take another long shot, this one from 51 yards out. “Cobra” Kai swept the leg and connected on the kick, giving the Vikings their first lead at 6-3 with about twelve and a half minutes left in the quarter.
The Ravens got an opportunity to return a short kickoff, and they started their next drive at their own 28. Joe Flacco found Javorius Allen on a screen pass on first down for 12 yards, and the Ravens were already threatening midfield. Flacco then found Michael Campanaro on a slant pass for 18 yards, moving the Ravens into Minnesota territory at the 42. The Vikings then got to another third down, and Eric Kendricks dragged Allen down on a swing pass to bring up fourth down. The Ravens gave Justin Tucker an opportunity at a 57-yard field goal. . .and he connected. That tied the score once again, this time at 6-6, with about ten minutes left in the quarter.
The Vikings, unfortunately, answered with a three-and-out, and Ryan Quigley came on for his first punt of the afternoon. His punt went out of bounds at the Baltimore 25, which is where Flacco and company took over for their next drive. The Vikings’ defense then forced a three-and-out of their own, and Sam Koch came in to punt the ball away. Koch’s punt went out of bounds at the Minnesota 16.
Case Keenum got the Vikings a first down on the next possession, hitting Jarius Wright for a 12-yard completion on 3rd-and-10. Keenum then converted another third down, as he connected with Laquon Treadwell to move the chains. A pass to Kyle Rudolph and a run by Jerick McKinnon moved the Vikings into Baltimore territory at the 43 with another first down. Murray then took the ball to the Baltimore 35 to take us into the two-minute warning.
Minnesota then converted another third down on a pass to Rudolph to get to the 33, and McKinnon then carried it down to the 25. However, the drive stalled at the Baltimore 24, and Forbath came in and did his thing again, this one from 43 yards out to give the Vikings the lead back at 9-6 with under a minute left in the half. That’s how we went into the locker room, as the Ravens were unable to generate anything at the end of the half.
As you’d probably expect, the stat sheet is pretty ugly for the Minnesota offense. Keenum has completed 12-of-21 attempts for just 86 yards, no touchdown, and the interception on his first throw of the afternoon. Jarius Wright is leading the Vikings receivers with 24 yards on two catches, while Adam Thielen has three grabs for 22 yards. Laquon Treadwell has two receptions for 18 yards. Kyle Rudolph has has 3 catches for just 13 yards, and C.J. Ham had a 12-yard reception on a screen pass. Jerick McKinnon has one reception, but it went for a three-yard loss.
On the rushing side of the ledger, Latavius Murray is having one of his better games as a Viking, as he’s carried the ball eight times for 32 yards. McKinnon has chipped in with 21 yards on seven carries.
The story in this one for Minnesota has been the defense. They’ve limited the Ravens’ offense to just 80 net yards, and have sacked Flacco twice while holding the visiting team to just the two field goals. Unfortunately, Keenum has been very inaccurate and has missed throws all afternoon, or else the Vikings could be up by significantly more in this one. They’ll get the football coming out of the locker room at halftime.
After one half of football at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings are winning the battle of field goals against the Baltimore Ravens by a score of 9-6. Come on in and join us for the second half of play!