Holding onto a 3-0 lead over the Philadelphia Eagles at Lincoln Financial Field, the Minnesota Vikings started the second quarter with a 3rd-and-13 from their own 17-yard line. Kirk Cousins dropped back to pass and found Kyle Rudolph for a short gain, forcing the Vikings to punt for the first time on the day. Matt Wile came in to boot the ball away, and with a decent bounce the Eagles took over from their own 33-yard line.
Carson Wentz immediately went to work, as he looked deep for Shelton Gibson for a huge 48-yard gain, and they were all the way down to the Minnesota 19-yard line. Fortunately, the Eagles’ offense stalled out thanks to a dropped pass by Wendell Smallwood, and the Eagles had to settle for a 30-yard field goal by Jake Elliott to tie the game at 3-3.
The kickoff from Elliott went through the end zone for a touchback, giving the Vikings the ball at their own 25. Cousins started things with a short pass to C.J. Ham, and a short pass to Stefon Diggs moved the sticks after Diggs made a ridiculous number of moves.
Diggs then took an end-around and rambled for 20 yards into Philadelphia territory at the 39. Latavius Murray then broke out his best run of the year, going for 12 yards to the 27. After a one-yard loss and a false start on Diggs, the Vikings were facing a 2nd-and-16. A short pass to Roc Thomas got the Vikings back to the original line of scrimmage, and Cousins’ pass for Adam Thielen on third down fell incomplete.
Minnesota brought Dan Bailey out for his third field goal attempt of the game, this one a 45-yard attempt. Bailey then pushed his attempt wide to the right, because Vikings’ kickers. The score remained tied at 3-3 with just under seven minutes remaining in the half.
Carson Wentz and the Eagles took over from their own 35. He found Nelson Agholor for a first down to near the midfield stripe on the Eagles’ first play of the drive, and a short pass to Jay Ajayi moved the Eagles into Minnesota territory. Ajayi then moved the sticks on a run play, and Wentz found Dallas Goedert for another first down to the Vikings’ 31. Then, the greatest thing ever happened.
Stephen Weatherly came through and hit Wentz, causing the ball to flutter into the air, and it landed in the hands of Linval Joseph! Linval then proceeded to rumble. . .and not stumble. . .and go ALL THE WAY TO THE END ZONE for a 63-yard touchdown! Bailey added the extra point, and suddenly the Vikings were up by a score of 10-3.
Man, fat guy touchdowns are the best.
The Eagles’ started out on their own 26-yard line on the ensuing drive, and Wentz scrambled for eight yards to start the drive. After a pair of false start penalties against the Eagles, Wentz’s pass for Alshon Jeffery fell incomplete and the Eagles were forced to punt. Cameron Johnston booted the ball away, and Brandon Zylstra fielded a short punt and took it to the Minnesota 44-yard line.
Cousins found Kyle Rudolph to put the Vikings into Eagles territory at the two-minute warning. The Vikings moved the sticks on a couple of passes to Thielen, and then Thielen caught a pass to move the ball inside the Eagles’ 30. After a questionable. . .very questionable. . .roughing the passer call on Michael Bennett, the Vikings had the ball at the Philadelphia 12-yard line. Cousins found Rudolph down to the 3-yard line, and then Cousins lofted a beautiful pass to Adam Thielen in the back left corner of the end zone for a three-yard touchdown! Bailey tacked on the extra point, and the Vikings took a 17-3 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Excellent throw, excellent route pic.twitter.com/9MwLWil6Nz— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) October 7, 2018
Cousins has been on fire in the first half, as he’s completed 20-of-24 passes for 154 yards and a touchdown. Stefon Diggs has done the majority of the damage, as he’s caught six passes for 51 yards. Thielen has six catches for 42 yards and a score, and Kyle Rudolph has hauled in three passes for 22 yards. Laquon Treadwell has also chipped in with three grabs for 21 yards.
On the ground, Diggs is actually the team’s leading rusher, too, with two carries for 25 yards. Latavius Murray has five carries for 17 yards, and Roc Thomas has 12 yards on a pair of carries. Mike Boone gained one yard on his lone carry of the day.
As we move to the second half at Lincoln Financial Field, the Minnesota Vikings lead the Philadelphia Eagles by a score of 17-3. Come on in and join us for the third quarter of play, folks!