With the score between the New Orleans Saints and the Minnesota Vikings tied at three after one quarter of play, the first play of the second quarter was an incomplete pass by Drew Brees, resulting in a three-and-out for the Saints’ offense. Marcus Sherels got his first punt return opportunity of the year, and set the Vikings up at their own 25.
Unfortunately, the Vikings couldn’t do much more with it, as a holding penalty on Mike Remmers negated a first down and the Vikings were forced to punt it away again. The Saints set up on their own 24-yard line, thanks in large part to a great special teams tackle by Jayron Kearse.
The Vikings appeared to have another three-and-out after an apparent sack of Drew Brees by
Sebastian Thunderbucket Tom Johnson, but it was taken off the board after what we’ll call a “questionable” roughing the passer penalty. New Orleans took advantage and marched deep into Minnesota territory once again, and got all the way down to the Minnesota 2. However, the Vikings defense held, and the Saints brought on Will Lutz for his second field goal attempt of the evening. Lutz connected from 21, and the Saints took the lead back at 6-3.
The Vikings got things going quickly on the next drive, with Sam Bradford finding Adam Thielen for a big 35-yard connection and then Jarius Wright for 21 more to put the Vikings into the red zone. On the next play, Bradford found a wide open Stefon Diggs for a 18-yard touchdown pass, taking the Vikings 74 yards in just over a minute and giving them their first lead of 2017, 10-6.
Minnesota forced another punt at the two-minute warning, and a huge punt by Thomas Morstead pinned them down at their own 5. However, that didn’t stop the Vikings’ offense, as they marched down the field in short order, with a couple more huge passes to get inside the New Orleans 5-yard line. To close things out, Bradford found Diggs for a 2-yard touchdown catch, but Kai Forbath missed the extra point to leave the Vikings’ lead at 16-6 going into halftime.
Bradford has been outstanding this evening, as he goes into the locker room at halftime having completed 17-of-20 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns. When he’s gotten time, he has been shredding the New Orleans’ pass defense.
The run game hasn’t really fired up yet, as Dalvin Cook has managed just 22 yards on eight carries. Jerick McKinnon has one carry for ten yards as well.
Adam Thielen is leading the Vikings in receiving, hauling in three passes for 85 yards. Diggs has six catches for 63 yards and both Vikings touchdowns. Jarius Wright has one catch for 21 yards, and Kyle Rudolph has two grabs for 11 yards. Cook has 10 yards on three receptions, and McKinnon has seven yards on two catches.
The Vikings have had a couple of quarterback sacks taken off the board thus far and don’t officially have one yet. We’ll see if that lasts.
We’re at halftime, ladies and gentlemen, and the Vikings lead the Saints by a score of 16-6. Minnesota gets the ball first coming out of the locker room, so they might be able to add on more. Come and join us for all the action!