The Vikings were in position to score as the quarter started, looking at second-and-goal from the 1-yard line, and Dalvin Cook finished the drive with his NFL-leading (as of now) fourth rushing touchdown of the year, with Dan Bailey’s extra point making it 14-0.
Just two plays later, the Vikings defense came up big, as Derek Carr overthrew Foster Moreau and was intercepted by Harrison Smith! Smith took the ball to the Oakland 30, and the Vikings were in business again.
Derek Carr's base is throwing as if he's under pressure. He's not, but that's what leads to the overthrow of Moreau pic.twitter.com/zvFeiDUknX— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) September 22, 2019
They took advantage of the great field position, with Adam Thielen finding the end zone for the second time on the afternoon. This time, it was a 1-yard run around right end, and Bailey’s extra point made it 21-0 with a little more than eleven minutes left in the half.
Diggs motion moves Daryl Worley out of the box, Elflein wraps to lead Thielen on his run and misses the block. Regardless, TD pic.twitter.com/VFt8WWdoPv— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) September 22, 2019
The Raiders got on the scoreboard on their next drive, scoring courtesy of the ol’ flea-flicker. Derek Carr handed the ball off, then got it back from his running back and lofted a 29-yard scoring pass to J.J. Nelson to give the Raiders points. Former Vikings kicker Daniel Carlson added the extra point to cut the Minnesota lead to 14 at 21-7.
Eric Wilson loses JJ Nelson and it's a TD on the fleaflicker pic.twitter.com/k9u295dY0T— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) September 22, 2019
That’s how we go into the locker room, with the Vikings holding a two-score lead.
Kirk Cousins has bounced back from his nightmare game at Green Bay last week, as he’s completed 8-of-14 passes for 115 yards and a touchdown. Adam Thielen, who caught Cousins’ touchdown pass on the opening drive, has a pair of catches for 44 yards to lead the way. Dalvin Cook has a pair of catches for 30 yards, and Stefon Diggs has two catches for 10 yards. Irv Smith Jr. had a 20-yard reception in the first quarter, and Kyle Rudolph has a catch for 11 yards.
Speaking of Cook, the NFL’s best running back has been productive again, as he’s carried the ball 12 times for 65 yards and a score. Alexander Mattison has gotten some carries in relief, though he’s gained just 14 yards on his six carries. Cousins has three carries for ten yards, and Thielen has his one-yard touchdown run.
We’re at halftime at U.S. Bank Stadium, folks, and the Minnesota Vikings lead the Oakland Raiders by a score of 21-7. The Raiders will get the ball first to start the second half, as they won the toss and deferred. Come on in and join us for the third quarter of play!