Vikings use perfect fake punt to set up first touchdown, tie Chiefs at halftime

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Ty Chandler took a handoff off a direct snap to successfully convert a fake punt and keep the Vikings' drive alive on Sunday afternoon. (AP/Rusty Jones)

Ty Chandler took a handoff off a direct snap to successfully convert a fake punt and keep the Vikings’ drive alive on Sunday afternoon. (AP/Rusty Jones) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The Minnesota Vikings finally found the end zone just before halftime of their matchup with the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday afternoon, all thanks to a nifty — and risky — play call from head coach Kevin O’Connell.

The Vikings pulled out a perfect fake punt with about five minutes left in the half, and perfectly caught the Chiefs off guard. Running back Ty Chandler took a handoff on a direct snap and broke out for 15 yards down the right sidelines at U.S. Bank Stadium, which safely gave the Vikings the first down and kept the drive alive.

Finally, eight plays later, Kirk Cousins found Jordan Addison in the back of the end zone for a 5-yard touchdown. That gave the Vikings a 13-10 lead, their first of the day, just before halftime.

The fake punt was Chandler’s first carry of the day. He entered Week 5 with just 27 rushing yards on five carries this season, his second in the league.

The Vikings, who fumbled on their opening drive for a third straight game, kicked a pair of field goals before the touchdown. The Chiefs scored on their first drive of the day — running back Isiah Pacheco punched in a 1-yard touchdown — and kicked a 38-yard field goal early in the second quarter.

The Chiefs mounted one last drive in the first half and Harrison Butker kicked a 40-yard field goal to tie the game up 13-13 at the break. Chiefs tight end Travis Kelce went down with what appeared to be a foot injury on that final drive, too, and was seen walking off the field very slowly for the locker room early after throwing his helmet down in frustration on the sidelines. Despite the scare, Kelce jogged back out onto the field and returned to the sidelines in the second half.

Cousins finished the half throwing 14-of-20 for 120 yards. Addison had 47 receiving yards on four catches, and Justin Jefferson was close behind with 38 receiving yards on three grabs. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes went 15-of-22 for 133 yards in the first half. Pacheco had 25 rushing yards on five carries.

This post will be updated with more information shortly.

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