To get things started at MetLife Stadium on Sunday afternoon, the New York Jets won the coin toss and deferred to the second half, giving the Minnesota Vikings the first opportunity with the football in their Week 7 contest. With Mike Hughes’ season coming to an end last week, fellow rookie Holton Hill took the opening kickoff from Jason Myers and returned it to the 27-yard line.
Latavius Murray got the ball on the first play of the game and picked up a nice 12-yard gain, and a penalty on the Jets for a personal foul moved the ball into Jets’ territory at the 46. Mike Boone then got a nice run for nine yards, and Kirk Cousins completed his first pass of the day to Laquon Treadwell for a first down. After that, Cousins found the NFL’s best wide receiver, Adam Thielen, for a 34-yard touchdown pass to get the Vikings on the board first. Dan Bailey connected on the extra point, and the Vikings had a quick 7-0 lead.
Early score for the Vikings pic.twitter.com/H96qasUmjV— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) October 21, 2018
Dan Bailey’s kickoff floated into the hands of Andre Roberts just short of the end zone, and he returned the ball to the 27-yard line, but a penalty on the Jets for an illegal block pushed the home team back to their own 13 to start their drive. The Jets’ started their drive with a tight end screen to Chris Herndon that nearly gained a first down, and Bilal Powell gained just enough to move the sticks on the next play. The Vikings eventually forced a third down, and Sam Darnold found Powell on the completion, but Eric Kendricks stopped him short of the first down. Lachlan Edwards punted the ball away for the Jets, and it floated out of bounds at the Minnesota 25-yard line.
The Vikings’ second drive was. . .less successful. Latavius Murray was stuffed for no gain on first down, and an end-around to Diggs on second down lost six yards to bring up third and long. A delay of game penalty made it third-and-longer, and Kirk Cousins was then sacked dangerously close to a safety on third down by Brandon Copeland. Matt Wile came in to punt the ball away, and he did a very nice job with a 63-yard punt to get the Vikings out of a hole.
After the punt, the Jets took over from their own 36-yard line. Isaiah Crowell got a short gain on first down, and Stephen Weatherly (!?) in coverage broke up a pass on second down that could have been a huge gain. Darnold’s pass on third down fell incomplete, and the Vikings forces a three-and-out. Edwards punted it away again, and Marcus Sherels fielded the punt on the bounce at the Minnesota 14.
Cousins started the drive with a quick pass to Thielen, and a pass in the flat to Kyle Rudolph turned into a big gain, picking up 16 yards to the 36 and a first down. Cousins tried to go for a deep ball to Stefon Diggs, but Darryl Roberts broke it up nicely. Cousins found Diggs short of the sticks on third down, and they brought in Matt Wile again. Wile’s punt was fair caught by Andre Roberts at the Jets’ 14-yard line.
A run by Bilal Powell picked up 11 yards and a first down for the Jets to start their drive, and then Eric Kendricks lost Trenton Cannon in coverage for a big gain into Minnesota territory at the 37-yard line. The Jets then hit another wide open pass, as Darnold found Robby Anderson for another big chunk of yardage down to the Minnesota 12. On the next play, Darnold found Herndon for an easy 12-yard touchdown. Myers added the extra point, and just like that we were tied at 7-7 with a minute left in the quarter.
Holton Hill got a nice return of Myers’ kickoff, putting the ball at the Minnesota 33-yard line. Latavius Murray got a short gain on first down, and a five-yard gain on second down ended the quarter.
As we move to the second quarter, the Vikings are looking at a 3rd-and-3 from their own 40-yard line.
After fifteen minutes of football at MetLife Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings and New York Jets are tied at 7-7. Come on in and join us for the second quarter of action!