Coming out of the locker room at halftime, the Minnesota Vikings got the football first, trailing the Pittsburgh Steelers by a score of 14-3. Jerick McKinnon took the kickoff in the end zone for a touchback, giving the Vikings the ball at their own 30-yard line (thanks to an offside penalty on the Steelers on the kickoff). They promptly went three-and-out, and Ryan Quigley. . .attempted a fake punt? Quigley attempted to throw one to Blake Bell, and it fell incomplete to give the Steelers ridiculously good field position at the Minnesota 36-yard line.
Pittsburgh didn’t do a lot with the ball, however, and they brought on Chris Boswell for a field goal attempt from 51 yards out. Boswell pushed it wide left, but an illegal formation call on the Vikings gave him another shot. On his second try, Boswell connected from 46 to push the Pittsburgh lead to 17-3.
Jerick McKinnon brought the ensuing kickoff out to the Minnesota 19, and a pass interference penalty against Laquon Treadwell moved the Vikings to the 35-yard line. A nice run by Dalvin Cook moved the Vikings close to midfield, and a nice pass from Case Keenum to Stefon Diggs moved the Vikings to the Pittsburgh 26. Dalvin Cook then took a handoff from Keenum and blasted around the right side for a 25-yard run down to the 1-yard line. It was originally called a touchdown, but after review it was taken off the board. On first-and-goal, the a Viking got his first NFL touchdown. . .but it was fullback C.J. Ham, not Cook. Kai Forbath then went on to miss the extra point, making the score 17-9.
The Steelers added to their lead on the next drive, with Chris Boswell connecting on a 29-yard field goal to make the score 20-9. The play was set up by a huge pass from Ben Roethlisberger to Martavis Bryant to put the Steelers deep into Minnesota territory, but Everson Griffen sacked Roethlisberger for the second time on the afternoon to limit the damage to a field goal.
The Vikings appeared to be on their way to another short drive after a pass for a first down to Stefon Diggs was negated by a ticky-tack offensive pass interference penalty. However, Keenum found Kyle Rudolph for a juggling catch and a gain of 27 to keep the drive going. Unfortunately, the drive was squelched by a holding penalty on Nick Easton, and Ryan Quigley punted the ball away again. The Steelers will be looking at 2nd-and-3 from their own 26 when we get to the fourth quarter.
There are fifteen minutes remaining from Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, and the Minnesota Vikings trail the Pittsburgh Steelers by a score of 20-9. Can the Vikings stage what would be a pretty impressive comeback and pull this one out?