Trailing the Minnesota Vikings by a score of 7-0 to start the second quarter, the Detroit Lions got things started with a penalty on center Graham Glasgow to give them a first and goal at the Minnesota 9-yard line. Kerryon Johnson was stopped for no gain on first down, and an incompletion on second down brought up third and goal. Sheldon Richardson and
Sebastian Thunderbucket Tom Johnson combined to bring Stafford down for a sack on third down, and the Lions called on Matt Prater for a 35-yard field goal attempt that split the uprights. That cut the Vikings’ lead to 7-3 with just over 13 minutes remaining in the half.
Sam Martin. . .who stayed upright this time. . .kicked the ball into the end zone for a touchback, giving Kirk Cousins and company the ball at their 25. Cousins found Adam Thielen for the first time on the day for an 11-yard gain and a quick first down. A couple of runs, one by Dalvin Cook and an end-around to Thielen, brought up a 3rd-and-3 for the Vikings from their own 43, and the Vikings converted with the third reception of the day for Chad Beebe for a first down to midfield.
Unfortunately, Cousins was looking for Thielen again on the next play, and made an awful throw into double coverage that went right into the hands of Darius Slay for an interception. Slay returned the pick to the Minnesota 44-yard line, and the Lions were suddenly in business. No idea what Cousins was looking at on the throw, but it might have been the worst pass he’s thrown this season.
LeGarrette Blount picked up seven yards on first down for the Lions, and Xavier Rhodes went off the field after apparently aggravating his ankle injury. A short pass to Blount was stopped short of the sticks, and the Lions faced another third down situation. Linval Joseph stopped Kerryon Johnson short on third down, and the Lions elected to go for it on 4th-and-1. The Lions elected to throw, and the Vikings covered the play nicely, but Stafford managed to scramble for enough to move the chains.
Kerryon Johnson then ran for five yards, and Stafford then found Kenny Golladay for another first down to the Minnesota 12. Stafford was then sacked for the second time on the afternoon, this time by Danielle Hunter with an assist from Everson Griffen (Hunter got credit for the sack). Facing 3rd-and-13 from the 15, Hunter got to Stafford again and took him down behind the line of scrimmage. That brought on Matt Prater for another 35-yard field goal attempt, and he got the same results as he did the first time. Splitting the uprights, he cut the Minnesota lead to 7-6 with 4:45 remaining in the half.
The kickoff from Martin went through the end zone for a touchback, giving the Vikings the ball at their own 25 again. On the first play of the drive, Dalvin Cook took a handoff from Cousins and blasted 70 yards down to the Detroit 5-yard line!
Dalvin Cook lets loose for 70 pic.twitter.com/ml1rIqiO1u— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) November 4, 2018
Latavius Murray then carried the ball to the 2 on a first-and-goal, and then Kirk Cousins found Adam Thielen in the back of the end zone for a two-yard touchdown! Dan Bailey added the extra point, and the Vikings were quickly back ahead by a score of 14-6.
Thielen touchdown -- great touch and placement by Cousins pic.twitter.com/qwetohkErp— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) November 4, 2018
Your weekly reminder that Adam Thielen is Superman: pic.twitter.com/7B606HQ66H— Sam Monson (@PFF_Sam) November 4, 2018
Dan Bailey’s kickoff was returned by Brandon Powell, but the Lions were called for a holding penalty on the return, giving them the ball at their own 18. The Lions quickly found themselves facing a 3rd-and-3 from their own 25-yard line at the two-minute warning. The Vikings swarmed Stafford in the backfield on the play, but Stafford managed to once again scramble for the necessary yardage. However, on the next play Stephen Weatherly got to Stafford for the Vikings’ fourth sack of the first half! The Lions had to punt the ball away, and Marcus Sherels got the ball to near midfield for the Vikings with under a minute left.
Cousins then found Laquon Treadwell for a 22-yard gain down to the Detroit 30, and then went for Treadwell again on first down, but the Lions were called for a holding penalty. Cook then took a handoff down to the 20, and the Vikings called timeout with 23 seconds left. Ezekiel Ansah then jumped offside to give the Vikings five free yards and a first down to the 15. Cousins then found Thielen for another short gain, but was sacked by Ansah on the next play back to the 21. Minnesota burned their final timeout, and brought on Dan Bailey for a 39-yard field goal attempt. Bailey split the uprights, and the two teams went to the locker room with Minnesota leading 17-6.
Cousins had an up-and-down first half. He completed 10-of-12 passes for 101 yards and a touchdown, but also had the one inexplicable interception. The leading receiver. . .as expected. . .is Laquon Treadwell, who has two receptions for 37 yards. Chad Beebe has three grabs for 21 yards in his NFL debut. Seeking a ninth consecutive 100-yard game, Adam Thielen is going to have some work to do in the second half, as he currently has just three catches for 16 yards and a touchdown. Latavius Murray (16 yards) and Dalvin Cook (4 yards) each have one reception.
On the ground, Dalvin Cook’s big run has sparked the Vikings’ run game, as he has six carries for 86 yards thus far. Latavius Murray has chipped in with 15 yards and a touchdown on four carries, and Adam Thielen has five yards on an end-around.
We’re at halftime at U.S. Bank Stadium, and the Detroit Lions will get the ball first in the second half, trailing the Minnesota Vikings by a score of 17-6. Come on in and join us for the third quarter of play!