After deferring to the second half on the opening coin toss, the Minnesota Vikings got the football first to start the third quarter, having battled to a 7-7 tie with the Los Angeles Rams in the first half of play at U.S. Bank Stadium. The kickoff from Greg Zuerlein went for a touchback, so Case Keenum and the Vikings’ offense took over at their own 25-yard line. Unfortunately, the Vikings went three-and-out after a loss by Latavius Murray, and the Vikings called on Ryan Quigley to punt. Quigley’s punt was taken by Pharoh Cooper at the Los Angeles 26-yard line, which is where Jared Goff and company took over.
The Rams picked up an initial first down on their drive on a pass from Goff to Sammy Watkins for 15 yards. A delay of game penalty on the Rams made it 3rd-and-15 for the Rams, and a quick screen to Robert Woods was well short of the first down marker. Johnny Hekker came on to punt the ball away, and Marcus Sherels called for a fair catch at the Minnesota 14.
After a penalty on Laquon Treadwell negated a first down for the Vikings, Keenum found Jarius Wright. . .yeah, Jarius Wright. . .for a big gain of 23 yards to the Los Angeles 43-yard line. A couple of plays later, Keenum found Adam Thielen for another big gain, this one a 24-yarder down to the Los Angeles 25-yard line. Unfortunately, the drive stalled at that point, and the Vikings again called on Kai Forbath for a 39-yard field goal attempt. After missing one field goal in his entire Vikings tenure prior to today, he missed his second of the afternoon, banging the kick off of the left upright and leaving the game tied at 7.
After the missed field goal, the Vikings’ defense forced a three-and-out, and the punt from Hekker went out of bounds at the Minnesota 29-yard line. On the first play of the ensuing drive, Latavius Murray busted a huge 25-yard run to move the Vikings into Rams’ territory at the 46-yard line. A penalty on Alec Ogletree for holding Kyle Rudolph gave the Vikings another fresh set of downs at the Rams’ 36.
Keenum then found Michael Floyd for another first down, and the Vikings were threatening. Jerick McKinnon then got a nice gain to shorten the distance, and a pass to McKinnon gave the Vikings a first down into the Los Angeles red zone. Keenum then found Kyle Rudolph for another first down, setting the Vikings up with a first-and-goal at the Los Angeles 2. That’s where we are as we enter the last quarter of play.
With fifteen minutes remaining at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings and Los Angeles Rams are tied at 7-7 in what has been a great game. Can the Vikings get themselves a sixth consecutive victory?