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Minnesota Vikings at New York Giants: Second quarter recap and third quarter discussion

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The Vikings scored in three different ways in the second quarter to extend their lead

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at New York Giants Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

We’re halfway through this Week 4 contest, and the Minnesota Vikings lead the New York Giants by a score of 18-7 at MetLife Stadium.

Starting the second quarter with a 3-0 lead over the New York Giants, the Minnesota Vikings faced a 3rd-and-4 from the Giants’ 15-yard line. Kirk Cousins took the snap and tossed a fade for Adam Thielen in the end zone. Thielen made the catch, and the Vikings concluded a 98-yard drive with a touchdown! Dan Bailey added the extra point, and the Vikings found themselves ahead 10-0.

The Giants got a huge kickoff return from Corey Ballentine and started their next possession near midfield. After Daniel Jones scrambled for a first down to keep the ball with the Giants, he dropped back and fired an outstanding pass to rookie Darius Slayton for a 35-yard touchdown. Slayton beat Xavier Rhodes on the coverage, and with the Aldrick Rosas extra point the score was suddenly 10-7 in favor of the Vikings.

The Vikings put together a nice drive on their next possession as well, but it was eventually slowed down by a holding penalty on Pat Elflein. Minnesota added more points, though, as Dan Bailey connected on his second field goal of the game, this one a 48-yarder that grazed the left upright on its way through. That put the Vikings ahead 13-7.

After a Giants punt, the Vikings started out at their own 20-yard line for their fourth possession of the afternoon. The drive opened with Cousins hitting Thielen, who made a man miss and rambled all the way down to the New York 41-yard line for a gain of 44. A few plays later, Dalvin Cook took a handoff and took the ball all the way to the New York 2-yard line. . .where it was stripped away by safety Jabrill Peppers, with the Giants recovering for a key turnover.

On the next play, however, Anthony Barr led a host of Vikings into the New York backfield to take down Giants’ running back Jon Hilliman for a safety! That extended the Vikings’ lead to 15-7, and gave the Vikings the football back at their own 37-yard line at the two-minute warning.

After the safety, the Vikings once again moved the ball with ease on the Giants’ defense, getting all the way down to the New York 2-yard line. Cousins was sacked again on third down, and the Vikings needed to call on Dan Bailey again. He connected from 32 yards out to make it 18-7. That’s how we went into the locker room at halftime.

Kirk Cousins has already had his best game of the year to this point, and we’re only at halftime. He’s completed 19-of-23 passes for 278 yards and a touchdown to this point. Adam Thielen has led the way for the receivers, as he’s already hauled in six catches for 121 yards and a score. Dalvin Cook also has six catches for 86 yards, while Olabisi Johnson has 43 yards on four receptions. Stefon Diggs, he of the early week drama, thus far has two receptions for 24 yards.

Cook has also gotten the job done on the ground, as he’s carried the ball 11 times for 47 yards. Ameer Abdullah has 24 yards on three carries, and Alexander Mattison has 18 yards on two carries. Cousins has scrambled a pair of times for four yards.

The defense has had an outstanding first half, as the Giants have just 92 net yards on offense. Their points came on a very short field, and outside of the one bad play the defense has been very good for the purple thus far.

We’re halfway through this Week 4 contest, folks, and the Vikings lead the Giants by a score of 18-7. Come join us for the third quarter of play, folks!