To get things started at U.S. Bank Stadium for their Week 9 matchup, the Detroit Lions won the coin toss and elected to defer to the second half, giving the Minnesota Vikings the football first. Lions’ kicker Sam Martin got things started by slipping on the kickoff, with the short squib going to Brandon Zylstra, who took the ball to the 35. A run by Latavius Murray (who got the start in place of Dalvin Cook), and a pass from Kirk Cousins to Laquon Treadwell quickly moved the Vikings into Detroit territory at the 45 with a nice first down. Cook then got his first couple of touches on a handoff and a short pass, and the Vikings found themselves facing a 3rd-and-4 at the Detroit 39. Chad Beebe then made his first catch, but it was short of the sticks and the Vikings elected to go for it on 4th-and-3.
Cousins then found Beebe again for a big gain down to the 24, and the Vikings kept possession. Cousins then hit Murray, and he rambled to the 8-yard line to set up a first and goal. A penalty on the Lions for illegal hands to the face on another Murray run moved the ball to the 1, and Murray then took a handoff and stretched the ball over the goal line. . .and fumbled it. Fortunately, Kyle Rudolph was right there for the Vikings and recovered the fumble for a score! Dan Bailey added the extra point, and the Vikings were quickly on top by a score of 7-0.
(For fantasy football purposes, Murray was ultimately credited for the touchdown, so there you go.)
Bailey’s kickoff went through the end zone for a touchback, and Matthew Stafford and company took over at their own 25 for their first possession. Rookie running back Kerryon Johnson got things started with a decent run for the visitors, and Stafford then found Theo Riddick for a Detroit first down. A short run by Johnson and an incompletion from Stafford brought up a 3rd-and-9 for the Lions, and after burning a timeout Stafford’s pass attempt fell incomplete. Sam Martin punted it away to Marcus Sherels, who called for a fair catch at the Minnesota 18.
Cook got things started on the next drive with a solid seven-yard run, but was stopped for no gain on second down to bring up another third down opportunity for the Vikings. Cousins made his first throw of the afternoon in the direction of Adam Thielen, but the pass fell off his hands incomplete for a three-and-out. Matt Wile came in to punt the ball away, and Brandon Powell called for a fair catch at the 35-yard line.
Detroit started their drive with an end-around to Kenny Golladay that picked up eight yards, but the Vikings stuffed LeGarrette Blount on second down to bring up 3rd-and-2. Stafford found T.J. Jones for a short gain, but it was enough to move the sticks for the visitors. Stafford then found Kerryon Johnson for 11 yards and another first down for the Lions into Minnesota territory. Two short gains had the Lions facing 3rd-and-8, and the Lions converted another third down on a pass from Stafford to Marvin Jones to the Minnesota 21.
Stafford then hit Marvin Jones again on a play that saw Xavier Rhodes fall to the turf in coverage, and the Lions had first and goal at the Minnesota 8. A penalty on Linval Joseph made it first and goal at the 4 (when it would have been third and goal from the 8), and that’s where we are as we move to the second quarter of play.
Fifteen minutes of play in the books at U.S. Bank Stadium, and the Minnesota Vikings lead the Detroit Lions by a score of 7-0. Come join us for the second quarter of play!