Matt Vensel is in his first year at the Star Tribune after covering the Ravens for the Baltimore Sun for six years. He is a Pittsburgh native and a Penn State grad. Follow him at @mattvensel.


Mark Craig has covered the NFL for 23 years, and the Vikings since 2003 for the Star Tribune. He is one of 44 Pro Football Hall of Fame selectors. Follow him at @markcraignfl.


Master Tesfatsion is the Star Tribune’s digital Vikings writer. He is a 2013 graduate of Arizona State and worked for mlb.com before arriving in Minneapolis. Follow him at @masterstrib.


Halftime report: Vikings 13, Texans 10

Posted by: under Vikings Updated: August 9, 2013 - 8:27 PM

Halftime report from Mall of America Field where the Vikings lead the Texans 13-10 in the preseason opener.

Good news: Receiver Cordarrelle Patterson had a superb first half, catching four passes for 54 yards. Patterson also returned the opening kickoff 50 yards and was one move away from taking it the distance. The game's first touchdown came from fullback Zach Line, an undrafted rookie from SMU. Line took a dump off from Matt Cassel and turned it into a 61-yard touchdown reception.

Bad news: Both Cassel and starting quarterback Christian Ponder threw interceptions. Cassel's was on an ill-advised throw across the field toward John Carlson. Ponder only attempted two passes and was on the field for less than a minute. His pass to Jerome Simpson across the middle was a bit off, hit the receiver in the hand and deflected right to Houston safety Shiloh Keo. Cassel, for what it's worth, finished the half 12-for-19 for 212 yards.

Extra point: Punter Jeff Locke only had one opportunity in the opening two quarters. Locke's first punt inside Mall of America Field was a 33-yarder that was fair caught at the Houston 10. Kicker Blair Walsh connected on both of his field goal attempts, from 22 and 33 yards away.

 

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