Trailing the Los Angeles Rams by a score of 7-0, the Minnesota Vikings found themselves in prime position to cut into that lead, as they were deep in Los Angeles territory. Jerick McKinnon got the Vikings to a 3rd-and-5, and Case Keenum then found Kyle Rudolph for a first down to set up first-and-goal at the Rams’ 8-yard line. Two plays later, Keenum handed the ball to Latavius Murray, and he did the rest, plowing through the Rams’ defense for a touchdown. Kai Forbath added the extra point, and we were tied 7-7 early in the second quarter.
Forbath’s kickoff went for a touchback, giving the Rams the ball at their own 25-yard line. Jared Goff found Robert Woods for a 24-yard gain that put the Rams to near midfield. An offensive pass interference penalty on the Rams pushed them back into a first-and-20, and then Todd Gurley was dropped for a loss. The Vikings’ defense got the stop, and the Rams needed to bring Johnny Hekker in to punt the ball away, and Marcus Sherels called for a fair catch at the Minnesota 15-yard line.
Keenum got the drive started with a completion to Laquon Treadwell for a quick first down, and Keenum then found Kyle Rudolph for a huge completion that gained 28 yards and put the Vikings into Rams’ territory at the 48-yard line. Keenum then scrambled for another first down, picking up 14 yards. On the ensuing third down, Keenum tried to find Adam Thielen in the end zone, but he couldn’t come down with what would have been a very tough catch. Kai Forbath came on to attempt a 48-yard field goal, and he pushed it to the right for just his second miss as a Viking, and the game remained tied at 7-7.
The Rams picked up a quick first down on their next drive as Anthony Barr was flagged for a roughing the passer penalty against Goff to move the ball into Minnesota territory. On a 3rd-and-10 play, Goff found rookie Cooper Kupp for a 12-yard gain to move the sticks. Two plays later, the Rams had another first down into the Vikings’ red zone at the 17. Goff then found Kupp, who appeared to be on his way to the end zone, but the ball was stripped away by Anthony Harris (playing in place of Andrew Sendejo), and the Vikings took over at their own 1-yard line.
The Vikings got themselves out of the shadow of their own goalposts, thanks to a pass from Keenum to Thielen for a nice 12-yard gain and a first down. Keenum then found Rudolph for 16 more yards to move the sticks once again. After the two-minute warning, a pass to McKinnon lost significant yards, and the Vikings handed the ball off twice with the Rams having burned all their timeouts. Ryan Quigley came in to punt the ball away with under 20 seconds left in the half. The Rams took a knee, and we went into the locker room tied at 7-7.
The Vikings’ haven’t really torn up the stat sheet or anything through the first half. Keenum has completed 13-of-18 passes, but has gotten just 91 yards through the air thus far. Kyle Rudolph is leading the Vikings in receiving thus far with three receptions for 48 yards. Adam Thielen has three catches for 27 yards, and Laquon Treadwell has two catches for ten yards. The Rams have held Stefon Diggs to just nine yards on one reception, and Latavius Murray has a one-yard reception. Jerick McKinnon has three catches, but they’ve gone for a combined minus-4 yards.
On the ground, it’s Murray leading the way with 23 yards and a touchdown on six carries. McKinnon has 23 yards on four carries, and Keenum has a pair of scrambles for 21 yards. C.J. Ham also has a three-yard carry for the Vikings.
We’re at halftime at U.S. Bank Stadium, folks, and the Minnesota Vikings are tied with the Los Angeles Rams at 7-7. Minnesota will get the ball to start the second half, so hopefully they can make some hay there. Come and join us for all the action!