Katie Stratman-USA TODAY Sports
Things fell apart at the end of the second quarter
The Vikings started out at their own 9-yard line after another Cincinnati punt, and the Vikings actually put a pretty nice drive together. The drive even featured a pass from Justin Jefferson to K.J. Osborn on an end-around that resulted in the first down and pushed the Vikings near the red zone. But then a pair of penalties (a false start and a hold) caused the drive to stall. . .or so we thought. Kirk Cousins threw a short pass to K.J. Osborn on 3rd-and-24, and Osborn broke a tackle and picked up 25 and a first down to move the ball to the Cincinnati 11-yard line.
After a sack of Cousins was negated by a defensive hold on the Bengals, the Vikings finally dented the scoreboard, as Cousins hit Adam Thielen for a 5-yard touchdown! Greg Joseph added the extra point, and the Vikings had themselves a 7-0 lead with just under seven minutes remaining in the half.
All @athielen19 does is score TDs
— Minnesota Vikings (@Vikings) September 12, 2021
The Bengals pushed their next drive into Minnesota territory, but the Vikings’ defense got another sack of their own, this one from a blitzing Harrison Smith.
Harrison Smith saw this all the way, gets the sack pic.twitter.com/vR2gUMFDhX
— Will Ragatz (@WillRagatz) September 12, 2021
But Joe Burrow continued to stand in despite Minnesota pressure and complete passes, as a pass interference penalty on Bashaud Breeland gave the Bengals a first-and-goal at the 3-yard line as the clock hit the two-minute warning. The Bengals then turned it into a touchdown on a 2-yard pass from Burrow to Tee Higgins for a touchdown. Rookie Evan McPherson hit the extra point, and things were tied up at 7-7 with 1:47 left in the half.
The Vikings’ two-minute drive, thanks to another holding penalty (this one on Rashod Hill) resulted in a three-and-out, giving the Bengals the ball back at their own 25. It didn’t take long, but the Bengals made the Vikings pay as Burrow found rookie Ja’Marr Chase for a 50-yard touchdown, beating Bashaud Breeland. McPherson was good on the extra point again, and just like that the Vikings were down by a touchdown, 14-7.
That’s where we stand at halftime, and the Bengals will get the ball coming out of the locker room. If the Vikings want to get back into this game, they’re going to have to stop shooting themselves in the foot for a few plays and actually string together some drives. Hopefully they can do it.
The Vikings trail the Bengals in the regular season opener by a score of 14-7 at halftime. Come on in and join us for the third quarter of play!