Sometimes the complexion of a game can change on a single play and Sunday's win in Minnesota certainly had one of those when Chandler Jones blocked a Blair Walsh field goal and returned it for a touchdown. Instead of going into halftime trailing 17-10, the Vikings found themselves down 24-7 and were suddenly chasing three scores after the break.
While the Jones block was a pivotal play, it is not the one we're going to focus on this week in our Take Two-sday installment. Looking back at the 30-7 victory it's easy to see the statistics and score and assume the game was a laugher. But early on it did not appear that way.
Minnesota opened the game with a dominant seven-play, 80-yard touchdown drive that looked like a continuation of Week 1. The Patriots were scrambling on defense and out of position trying to cover the middle of the field. Then the offense began its first drive and promptly went three-and-out, giving the ball right back to Minnesota with a chance to earn a quick two-score lead.
](http://www.pjtra.com/t/RUBKRExHSUBKSElGRUBISEtERw) That's when Devin McCourty stepped up and made a play – two actually – that turned the tide in favor of the visitors.
Matt Cassel completed his first four passes including a 25-yard touchdown to Matt Asiata, and now he had the ball back again and Minnesota quickly picked up another first down thanks to an illegal hands to the face penalty on Sealver Siliga. After Asiata lost a yard the Vikings were flagged for a false start, setting up second-and-16 from their own 15.
Cassel dropped back and let one fly toward Jarius Wright, who had beaten Logan Ryan badly on the play and looked to be in the clear. The throw was a bit late and drifted toward the middle of the field, right where McCourty could make his indelible imprint on the game.
Showing tremendous range, McCourty leaped in front of Wright and picked off the pass as he tumbled to the ground. He quickly rose to his feet and scooted 60 yards to the Minnesota 1, nearly finishing the play with a pick-six.
Two plays later, Stevan Ridley banged his way into the end zone to tie the game, the Patriots really were never in trouble again.
It's easy to look at the scoreboard and assume the Patriots dominated the Vikings, but until McCourty's pick it didn't look like that would be the case.
It's the kind of play we'll take a second look at all season long as part of our Take Two-sday.