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Minnesota Vikings “at” Cleveland Browns: Fourth Quarter Open Thread

The purple have a lead going into the fourth quarter. Can they hold on?

NFL: International Series-Minnesota Vikings at Cleveland Browns Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Entering the second half of play at Twickenham Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings found themselves trailing the Cleveland Browns by a score of 13-12 and kicking the ball away to start the second half. The kickoff from Kai Forbath was taken to the 22-yard line by Matthew Dayes, giving DeShone Kizer and company their first possession of the half at that spot. On the first play from scrimmage, Isaiah Crowell took a handoff from Kizer and fumbled it away, and it was recovered by Anthony Harris at the Cleveland 30.

Minnesota took over with great field position, but could not take much advantage, as they went three-and-out. That meant another opportunity for Kai Forbath, who lined it up from 43 yards out. “Cobra” Kai once again swept the leg in perfect fashion, and put it between the uprights to let Minnesota regain the lead by a score of 15-13.

Forbath then kicked it to Matthew Dayes, and the Vikings’ special teams completely took a nap, as Dayes ripped off a 72-yard return down to the Minnesota 31-yard line. Crowell, looking to atone for his mistake, carried the ball down to the Minnesota 18 for a first down, but that was as far as the Browns could go. They called on their kicker, Zane Gonzalez, for a 35-yard attempt, but he pushed it wide to the left. Minnesota took over at their own 25.

Minnesota couldn’t grab the momentum, going three-and-out on the next drive. Ryan Quigley came on to punt the ball away, and Bryce Treggs returned the boot to the Cleveland 40-yard line. Kizer and company moved the ball down the field, with a face mask penalty on Shamar Stephen moving it into Minnesota territory. A few plays later, the Browns were in the red zone with a first-and-10 from the Minnesota 13, and an illegal use of hands penalty gave the Browns a first-and-goal from the 6. But, the Minnesota defense forced another field goal attempt, and this time Gonzalez connected from 25 to give Cleveland the lead back at 16-15.

The kickoff from Gonzalez went for a touchback, giving the Vikings’ offense the ball at their own 25. A pass to Latavius Murray picked up eight yards, and Murray then carried for eight more to move the chains. Keenum then found Adam Thielen for a nice 25-yard gain down to the Cleveland 33, and the Vikings were in business. McKinnon then took a short pass down to the Cleveland 21 to put the Vikings on the edge of the red zone and give them another first down. The Browns were then called for pass interference in the end zone, and that gave the Vikings first-and-goal at the 1. McKinnon then took a handoff and went untouched into the end zone for a 1-yard touchdown run. The Vikings elected to go for two, and McKinnon scored on another handoff to give the Vikings a seven-point lead, 23-16.

Forbath’s kickoff resulted in a touchback, giving the Browns the ball at their own 25. The Browns’ offense didn’t do anything with the ball, and they’ll be punting it away to start the fourth quarter, looking at 4th-and-4 from the 31-yard line.

The Vikings have a lead as we move on to the final quarter of play, 23-16. Can they hold off the pesky Browns and get themselves into the bye at 6-2?