Holding a 13-10 lead coming out of the locker room, the Minnesota Vikings got to receive the second half kickoff from the Arizona Cardinals. The kickoff from Phil Dawson went through the end zone for a touchback, and the Vikings set up shop at their own 25-yard line to start the third quarter of play.
The Vikings started the drive with a run by Latavius Murray, and then Kirk Cousins found Adam Thielen near the right sideline for a 16-yard gain and a first down to the 45. The Vikings then found themselves facing a 3rd-and-13 after a couple of attempts by Murray got stopped. Cousins then found Thielen again for an incredible diving catch that gave the Vikings a first down at the Arizona 45.
Mike Boone then blasted through for a nice 20-yard gain to move the ball to the Arizona 22-yard line. On the ensuing third down, Cousins dropped back to pass and found Thielen in the end zone for a 13-yard touchdown! Dan Bailey added the extra point, and the Vikings’ lead expanded to 20-10.
Thielen touchdown comes by lining him up inside the tight end and getting a matchup against the Tampa-2 linebacker up the seam pic.twitter.com/9szOew3rnp— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) October 14, 2018
With his catches on that drive, Thielen went up to 10 catches for 114 yards, giving him his sixth consecutive 100-yard game to start the season. He’s good and stuff.
Thanks to a penalty on the kick return, the Cardinals started their first drive of the third quarter at their own 7-yard line. The Cardinals did nothing, and the drive ended with Harrison Smith sacking Josh Rosen at the 1-yard line. Andy Lee came in to punt it away, and Marcus Sherels put together his best return of the year, taking it 20 yards to the Arizona 43-yard line.
Latavius Murray kicked off the drive with the (new) longest run of the season for the Vikings, picking up 34 yards and setting up first-and-goal for the Vikings at the 9-yard line. After another run by Murray, Cousins faked a handoff to C.J. Ham, and then ran around the right side for a 7-yard touchdown run!
Bailey added the extra point, and suddenly the lead was 17 points at 27-10.
Arizona started at their own 25 after another touchback, and they picked up a first down on a pass to Larry Fitzgerald and a run by David Johnson. The Cardinals eventually found themselves facing another third down, and Anthony Harris jumped in front of a Fitzgerald route for an interception! That was the Vikings’ first interception since Week 1, and set the Vikings up at their own 47-yard line.
Unfortunately, the Vikings didn’t do much with the turnover, as they went three-and-out following the interception. Matt Wile came in to punt the ball away, and Christian Kirk called for a fair catch at the 13-yard line. A penalty on the Cardinals pushed it back further, and the Cardinals once again started at their own 7-yard line.
The Cardinals got a big play to start their drive, as Rosen found Jermaine Gresham on a short screen that picked up 26 yards and got Arizona out of the shadow of their own goal post. A short pass to J.J. Nelson then got the Cardinals near another first down, and they got it on a carry by Chase Edmonds.
As we move to the final quarter of play, the Cardinals are looking at 1st-and-10 from their own 46-yard line.
We have fifteen minutes of football remaining from U.S. Bank Stadium, and the Vikings lead the Cardinals by a score of 27-10. Will the purple hold on for their third victory of the year?