The Vikings started the second half with a spunky return from Marcus Sherels and some good energy out of Christian Ponder, but a number of penalties ended up stalling the drive and they had to punt.
The good news was, however, that Jared Allen and his defense was able to take advantage of the Lions being pinned deep and the Lions went three-and-out, punting from their own end zone.
The Vikings started out in Lions territory and Bill Musgrave proceeded to call a very good series of plays, including a reverse to Jarius Wright, that was highlighted by a long gainer to Devin Aromashadu to set the Vikings up inside the ten.
In the red zone, Ponder tripped on his drop back and then a no-gain passing play set up a third and goal from the ten. The throw made on third down was to Toby Gerhart about six yards shy of the end zone and he was unable to punch it in. The Vikings again had to settle for a Blair Walsh field goal.
The Lions then came out gunning, with two passes in a row going to Calvin Johnson, and both were caught. One was for 51 yards and the Vikings defense immediately found themselves defending their own goalline. After first down featured a botched snap, Stafford floated a beautiful pass over the head of Harrison Smith and into the hands of Brandon Pettigrew for a touchdown.
The Vikings then came out gunning with Christian Ponder spreading the ball around to Adrian Peterson, Kyle Rudolph and even John Carlson. The third quarter ended with the Vikings holding a six point lead and knocking on the door.