We’re at halftime at U.S. Bank Stadium in the All-Important Third Preseason Game™ between the Seattle Seahawks and the Minnesota Vikings, and the home team trails going into the locker room by a score of 10-6.
The Vikings put together a solid enough opening drive. Dalvin Cook got to carry the football on two of the first three offensive snaps for the Vikings, and got a combined one yard on those carries (though that was enough to get a first down). The Vikings went 49 yards in 14 plays on their opening drive, and got Daniel Carlson into position to attempt a 42-yard field goal. Unfortunately, on his first kick since winning the kicking competition over Kai Forbath, Carlson pushed his attempt wide to the left. So, despite holding onto the ball for the first half of the first quarter, the Vikings wound up with no points.
The Vikings defense did what they do, forcing Russell Wilson and the Seattle offense into a three-and-out on their opening drive. Seattle punter Michael Dickson, a rookie this season, blasted an outstanding punt to pin the Vikings down at their 3-yard line to start their second possession. The second drive was the C.J. Ham & Latavius Murray variety hour, as they both had big plays on the drive. Ham had a pair of big receptions for first downs, and Murray had a 24-yard reception on a third down play to get the Vikings near midfield.
All aboard!— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) August 25, 2018
The Tay Train takes off for 24! pic.twitter.com/R3me9CBjW9
After Ham’s second big catch put the Vikings into Seattle territory, Kirk Cousins found Stefon Diggs for a 27-yard pitch-and-catch down to the Seattle 10.
Back shoulder to Diggs pic.twitter.com/L0xBShUYXO— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) August 25, 2018
To start the second quarter. . .after the Seahawks only had the ball once and ran three offensive plays. . .the Vikings had third-and-goal from the Seattle 5, but Cousins was crushed for what appeared to be a sack by Bobby Wagner, but a defensive holding call on Seattle gave the Vikings a new set of downs. Minnesota took advantage, as Murray went over from a yard out to give the Vikings the lead. Strangely, the Vikings elected to go for two points, and Cousins’ pass for Laquon Treadwell fell incomplete to keep the purple’s lead at 6-0.
Even prettier in person #Vikings #SKOL pic.twitter.com/s75Enxl4aM— Sarita (@skell10) August 25, 2018
The Vikings’ scoring drive was 13 plays, 97 yards, for those of you scoring at home. Or, hey, even if you’re by yourself. They were also 5-for-6 on third downs on their first two possessions after the team went a combined 0-for-12 on third downs last week against the Jacksonville Jaguars.
Seattle had a significantly better second possession, as Wilson marched his team into Minnesota territory with a series of completions. A run by Mike Davis then moved the Seahawks to the Minnesota 23-yard line. Danielle Hunter then buried Davis for a loss, but Wilson then found Brandon Marshall. . .yes, that Brandon Marshall. . .for a big gain to the Minnesota 6. Seattle finished the drive on the next play, as Chris Carson took a handoff and went in for a Seattle touchdown. Sebastian Janikowski. . .yes, that Sebastian Janikowski. . .connected on the extra point, and the road team moved out in front by a score of 7-6.
Minnesota went three-and-out on the subsequent drive, and Ryan Quigley’s punt put the Seahawks at their own 47-yard line. It didn’t take them long to get into Minnesota territory, but the Vikings’ defense stood up and held the Seahawks to a 35-yard field goal by Janikowski to make the score 10-6.
The Vikings got a chance to practice their two-minute offense, starting their drive from their own 17-yard line. Laquon Treadwell played a big role on the drive, catching a 12-yard pass for a first down and then putting together a 27-yard catch-and-run on a third down to push the Vikings into Seattle territory.
Treadwell has had a good game to go with his improvement in camp pic.twitter.com/I1fPOPC3Ua— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) August 25, 2018
The Vikings’ offense stalled, and Carlson came on again to attempt a 42-yard field goal. . .and he missed it, again. Wide to the left, again. Not what the Vikings need to see, and the score remained 10-6. That’s how we went into the locker room at halftime.
Cousins got a lot of work in the first half, as he threw the ball 28 times, completing 17 of them for 182 yards. The Vikings also went 7-of-9 on third down, which is a vast improvement over last week, obviously. If not for the two missed field goals by the rookie. . .which is certainly concerning. . .the Vikings would have taken a lead into the locker room. Cousins connected with six different receivers, with Diggs leading the way with 51 yards on four catches.
We’re at halftime at U.S. Bank Stadium, the Minnesota Vikings trail the Seattle Seahawks by a score of 10-6, and our rookie kicker apparently has a case of the yips now that he’s officially won the job. What will the second half hold? Join us and find out!