Finding themselves trailing the Minnesota Vikings by a 13-0 margin, the Detroit Lions started the first quarter with a first-and-10 from their own 40-yard line. Ameer Abdullah got the drive started for the Lions with a short run, and the Vikings forced another third down after stopping Theo Riddick short in second down. The Vikings appeared to have a stop, but Xavier Rhodes was called for holding to give the Lions a fresh set of downs at the Minnesota 47. Two plays later, Stafford found Eric Ebron for another first down, this one to the Minnesota 32.
Everson Griffen got to Stafford for a 5-yard sack on the next play, but Stafford then found Marvin Jones for a big gain to the Minnesota 14-yard line, a 23-yard pick-up. However, that’s all the more yardage the Lions’ offense could gain, as Stafford’s passes on second and third down fell incomplete. Detroit called on Matt Prater for a 32-yard field goal attempt, and he knocked it home to put the home team on the scoreboard, 13-3.
Sam Martin’s kickoff went down to Marcus Sherels deep in the end zone, but he brought it out and took the ball past the 30-yard line. A penalty, however, put the Vikings deep in Detroit territory at the 8-yard line to start their first possession of the second quarter. It looked like the Vikings might go three-and-out, but Detroit was flagged for defensive holding on third down to give the Vikings a fresh set of downs. Keenum then found Jarius Wright for another third down conversion to their own 30-yard line. Stefon Diggs then took a pitch and went around the left end for nine yards, and Jerick McKinnon picked up nine more to get the Vikings out to near midfield.
Keenum then scrambled for another first down, this one into Detroit territory at the 41-yard line. Adam Thielen then hauled in a pass for 14 yards down to the 27. Jerick McKinnon was then dropped for a big loss by Akeem Spence, bringing up a 2nd-and-16 for the Vikings’ offense. Minnesota couldn’t get the ball any closer to the goal line, and they called on Kai Forbath to attempt a 53-yard field goal. Forbath’s attempt was blocked, this time by Jeremiah Ledbetter, and the lead for the Vikings remained 13-3.
Minnesota’s defense stood up huge after the field goal, forcing another three-and-out. Marcus Sherels returned Sam Martin’s punt to the 26 as we hit the two-minute warning. Keenum connected with Kyle Rudolph for a huge completion, a 34-yarder that put the Vikings into Detroit territory at the 41-yard line. Keenum then found Jarius Wright down to the 27-yard line, and a delay of game penalty against Tahir Whitehead for not letting Wright get up tacked on five more yards. Keenum then dropped back to pass and aired one out for Rudolph, who hauled it in for his second touchdown reception of the afternoon, this one a 22-yarder. Kai Forbath added the extra point, and the Vikings found themselves up 20-3 with under a minute remaining in the quarter.
The Lions got a huge completion from Stafford to rookie Kenny Golladay, and that moved the ball down to the Minnesota 34-yard line. Xavier Rhodes was then flagged for pass interference, and the ball was suddenly down to the Minnesota 12-yard line. The Vikings were then penalized again, this time a face mask on Eric Kendricks, to give the Lions a first-and-goal at the 6. After all that help, the Lions were finally able to get the ball into the end zone, as Stafford found Marvin Jones for a 6-yard touchdown. Matt Prater added the extra point, and we went into halftime with a score of 20-10 in favor of the Vikings.
This has been the Case Keenum show on Thanksgiving Day so far, folks. He has completed 14-of-18 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns, and he’s also responsible for the Vikings’ other touchdown, as he ran it in from nine yards out. Kyle Rudolph is Minnesota’s leading receiver thus far, gaining 63 yards on four catches and finding the end zone twice. Adam Thielen has 48 yards on four grabs, and Jerick McKinnon as a 31-yard reception as well. Jarius Wright has two catches for 25 yards, and Stefon Diggs has three receptions for 22 yards.
Keenum is the Vikings’ leading rusher as things stand right now, as he has four scrambles and a kneeldown for 23 yards and a touchdown. Latavius Murray has had a tough go of things so far, as he’s gained just 20 yards on eight carries. Diggs has a nine-yard run, and Jerick McKinnon has carried the ball seven times, but has netted just two yards.
We’re at halftime at Ford Field, ladies and gentlemen, with the Minnesota Vikings holding a 20-10 lead over the Detroit Lions on Thanksgiving Day. Can the Vikings hold on in the second half and get their seventh consecutive victory?