The first game of the Minnesota Vikings’ preseason is in the books. It’s not the score that counts this time of year, it’s performance.
Mike Zimmer and the Minnesota Vikings were handed an early victory in Cincinnati Friday night.
Here is Sporting Sota’s takeaway on the good, and not so good, of the Vikings 17-16 victory against the Cincinnati Bengals.
I’ve always been the type of person that likes to hear the bad news first, so here we go…
The offensive line looked atrocious during the Vikings first offensive possession. It seemed like we were transported way back to the year 2015. Wait, that was just last season. Thank the Nordic Gods that we still have time to right the ship.
Teddy Bridgewater was being punished early in Paul Brown Stadium. The Minnesota Vikings went three and out on their first series. Jerick McKinnon saved the Vikings from a sure safety on our second attempt, setting up Minnesota’s first TD of the preseason.
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It was a complete role reversal for Tony Sparano and Company compared to last season. Minnesota looked abysmal trying to run-block, but seemed to do a much better job pass-blocking for the Vikes trio of QB’s who saw action. Teddy and Shaun Hill both had a completion percentage over 85%. However no Vikings’ running back seemed to get on track, or in a rhythm throughout the evening. Adrian Peterson should remedy that come September.
Mike Zimmer’s defense dominated during the two practice sessions prior to the game. The Bengals seemed to manage what was supposed to be one of Minnesota’s biggest strengths heading into Friday night. Coach Zim called his player’s performance “soft” after the game. Look for some definite improvement heading into Seattle on both the offensive and defensive line units.
Enough bad news…
Did you happen to catch Bridgewater stiff arm Geno Atkins? That was just one of the highlights from Teddy’s night.
The Vikings’ starter has been plagued by the myth of him not being able to throw a deep ball. Bridgewater may have silenced his critics, for this week anyway, connecting on a 49- yard thing of beauty to Charles Johnson. Teddy went 6 of 7 passing, looking sharp in the process.
Laquon Treadwell put in an admirable performance as well. Rick Spielman has had the golden touch in recent draft’s, Treadwell seems to be in-line to continue that trend.
Rookie tight end David Morgan also looked solid. Rhett Ellison might be watching Morgan take his job while recovering from an injury.
Our young cornerbacks put on a show. Mackensie Alexander intercepted his first pass in years. The knock on Alexander coming out of the draft was his inability to intercept the ball. Check that off his to-do list.
Trae Waynes also stepped up when it counted, putting in a solid performance. The Minnesota Vikings seem to be in good hands for years to come when it comes to their defensive backfield.
It is too early to proclaim anything but Minnesota is off to a great start. We still have time to work on our deficiencies and improve on what has been working. A solid beginning to a promising 2016.