LA Rams Travin Howard off-the-bench interception halts Vikings offense

Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports /

The LA Rams defense held the Vikings on the opening drive and then moved the ball down the field with a good balance of runs and passes to take an early lead in a game that both teams are very eager to win.

But when the Minnesota Vikings stepped onto the football field, they attempted to mix in a balanced offensive attack of their own. Of course, when starting at their own eight-yard line, there is a lot of real estate to make up. So when starting inside linebacker Ernest Jones came up limping after a long run by Vikings RB Alexander Mattison, events were clearly turning in favor of the home team Vikings.

The big run opened up the passing game for the Vikings and the Rams defense appeared to be at risk of giving up the tying score.

Howard INT stymies Vikings offense

But after the Vikings advanced the football to first down and goal-to-go from their eight-yard line, the Rams defense stiffened. Alexander Mattison tried to run the football twice, for no gain. Then, on third-down and goal to go from the eight-yard line, Cousins dropped back intending to pass to wide receiver K.J. Osborn.

But a pass deflection by defensive back Darious Williams redirected the pass into inside linebacker Travin Howard’s hands two yards deep in the end zone. Howard returned the football 19 yards to the LA Rams 17 yards line.

The LA Rams have been running the ball well in this one. When the offense runs the ball, the LA Rams have scored. The two possessions where the Rams did not score have been primarily the result of calling consecutive passing plays. But the Rams enter halftime with the lead, primarily thanks to Travin Howard.

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