Anxious to atone for what happened on Sunday afternoon against the Buffalo Bills, the Minnesota Vikings’ offense got to take the field first after the Los Angeles Rams won the coin toss and deferred to the second half. Sam Ficken put his foot to the ball for a touchback, and the Vikings got to start from their own 25-yard line.
Dalvin Cook got the first two carries with mixed results. . .a gain of six followed by a loss of three. . .and Kirk Cousins found Adam Thielen to convert the team’s first opportunity on third down. Cousins then found Thielen for a big 16-yard completion into Rams’ territory at the 42. Cousins then found Laquon Treadwell for another first down to the Los Angeles 26, and the Vikings were on the move.
After another nice gain by Cook, an incompletion to Thielen brought up a 3rd-and-3 from the Rams’ 19. A short pass to Thielen converted, and the Vikings soon faced a 3rd-and-10 from the Los Angeles 16. Cousins dropped back to pass, fired for the back right corner of the end zone, and found. . .Aldrick Robinson? Yes, Aldrick Robinson for a 16-yard touchdown pass! Dan Bailey converted the extra point, and the Vikings found themselves ahead 7-0.
Bailey’s kickoff went for a touchback, giving Jared Goff and company the ball at their own 25. The Rams converted a third down early on with a pass from Goff to Brandin Cooks, and then got another quick first down on a pass to Cooper Kupp. It looked like the Vikings got a stop on the next third down attempt, but Xavier Rhodes was flagged for holding Cooks to move the sticks again.
Gurley then burst through for a gain of eight, and the Rams were at the Minnesota 35-yard line. An easy pass to Gerald Everett went for 13 yards and another first down, and the Rams were in business near the red zone. After another Rams’ first down, Goff found Gurley with Anthony Barr in coverage for an 8-yard touchdown pass. Ficken added the extra point, and just like that we were tied at 7-7.
Ficken launched his second kickoff of the night for a touchback, giving the Vikings a start at their own 25 once again. The Vikings faced yet another third down to start the drive, and it appeared that Cousins found Thielen for yet another first down, but the Vikings were called for illegal formation to wipe it out. Cousins got it back though, as he found Kyle Rudolph for a huge first down.
As we move to the second quarter of play, the Vikings have a 1st-and-10 from their own 35, and they are tied with the Rams at 7-7.