The Vikings started the quarter with a punt that wound up being the first touchback of the season for Britton Colquitt. The Saints picked up one first down on their next possession, but were forced to punt it away as well.
After a three-and-out, the Saints got the ball back and quickly got to near midfield on a run by Taysom Hill. Then, Hill. . .not Drew Brees. . .hit a 50-yard bomb to Deonte Harris to put the Saints at the Minnesota 4-yard line. Alvin Kamara finished things from there, going in for the touchdown and giving the home team a 10-3 lead.
The Vikings proceeded to answer with their best drive of the afternoon, thanks to a whole lot of Dalvin Cook. Minnesota got all the way down to a first-and-goal at the New Orleans 3-yard line, but had to settle for another Dan Bailey field goal, this one a 21-yarder to cut the lead to 10-6.
On the Saints’ next drive, Drew Brees tried to throw a deep shot of his own, but it was intercepted by Anthony Harris and returned back to the New Orleans 45-yard line!
Anthony Harris pick pic.twitter.com/BfNHsHDgPk— Arif Hasan, orbital traveler (@ArifHasanNFL) January 5, 2020
The Vikings took advantage of the turnover, as they capped their possession with their first touchdown of the afternoon, a 5-yard run by Dalvin Cook to give the Vikings a 13-10 lead.
Naturally, the Vikings gave up a huge kickoff return to All-Pro Deonte Harris on the ensuing kickoff, and Brees connected on a long pass to Michael Thomas to put the Saints in field goal range. Fortunately for the Vikings, Will Lutz pushed his 43-yard attempt wide to the right, preserving the Vikings’ three-point lead going into the locker room.
Kirk Cousins has been up-and-down in the first half, finishing 10-of-16 for 108 yards. The leading receiver today has been Adam Thielen, who has caught four passes for 43 yards and redeemed himself with a couple of nice plays after the early fumble. Kyle Rudolph has chipped in with 27 yards on three receptions as well.
Dalvin Cook is having an outstanding game so far against a Saints’ defense that hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher in 42 games. He’s carried the ball 16 times for 84 yards and a score, ripping off several big chunk plays on the ground so far. Alexander Mattison has contributed with 19 yards on three carries.
We’re at halftime in New Orleans, and the Minnesota Vikings hold a 13-10 lead over the New Orleans Saints. Come on in and join us for the third quarter of action!