MINNEAPOLIS -- Courtesy of a 17-point second quarter, the Cleveland Browns held a 24-17 lead over the Minnesota Vikings at halftime of today’s inter-conference game from Mall of America Field at the H.H.H. Metrodome.
Minnesota cut the deficit to seven points when kicker Blair Walsh converted a 43-yard field goal attempt with less than two minutes to play before the half, but it was the Browns’ special teams that proved to be the difference in the half.
Initially, the Browns lined up to kick a field goal, but Lanning got the ball from long-snapper
The Browns’ scoring drive, which travelled 38 yards in six plays, was set up by a Vikings turnover.
On second-and-six from Minnesota’s 31-yard line, Vikings quarterback Christian Ponder threw a pass intended for wide receiver Jerome Simpson, but Browns linebacker
Ward returned the interception 13 yards.
With the Browns backed up at their own 38-yard line and facing a fourth-and-one, reserve safety
Ponder’s six-yard touchdown run drew the Vikings even with the Browns at 14-14 with 10:12 to play in the second quarter. Ponder took the snap in the Shotgun formation, called his own number and followed center John Sullivan into the end zone for his first rushing touchdown of the season.
Ponder’s 37-yard pass to rookie wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson was the longest play of the Vikings’ nine-play, 80-yard scoring drive.
After a one-yard loss on the final play of the first quarter, Hoyer took the snap on second-and-11, and led Cameron, who was in front a Vikings defender on a drag route across the middle of the field, to the far sideline for the score.
Earlier in the drive, Hoyer completed a 30-yard pass to wide receiver
The Browns and Vikings were tied at 7-7 after one quarter of play.
On their second drive of the game against the Minnesota, Hoyer threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Gordon, which tied the game at 7-7 with 4:42 left to play in the first quarter. The Browns marched 68 yards in just six plays in 2:13.
Hoyer completed three of his four pass attempts on the drive for 67 yards, including a nine-yarder to wide receiver
With a two-yard touchdown run behind Sullivan, Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson put the Vikings in front of the Browns, 7-0, with 9:13 remaining in the first quarter. Peterson capped off an 11-play, 80-yard drive in which he carried seven times for 28 yards.
Ponder completed three of his four pass attempts for 52 yards, including throws of 27 and 20 yards to wide receivers Greg Jennings and Jarius Wright, respectively.
Minnesota converted all three of the their third downs on the drive, including the 20-yard pass from Ponder to Wright.