Preseason Game 4. It’s the game we all dread, but watch or attend anyway. None of the starters are on the field; it’s essentially 3 hours of 2nd string or unproven talent desperately trying to make one last case for a spot on the 53-man roster. It’s rare to see truly stunning play, although thoughts of Audie Cole’s INTs and pick-6 last year run through my mind. I started this game with the hope of seeing something along those lines. I got a terrific 109 kick off return by Marcus Sherels. That’ll work!
Things I Liked:
- Cassel to Rodney Smith in the waning moments of the 1st quarter. Yes, we had a pass of 28 yards!
- Cassel to John Carlson over the middle for good yardage and YAC.
- Matt Asiata producing a TD at the start of the 2nd quarter and showing good running instincts during the game.
- Joe Banyard had some solid plays in the 2nd quarter, including the screen from McLeod John Balthazar Bethel-Thompson resulting in a TD.
- Marcus Sherels: 109 yard kick-off return TD.
- Marcus Sherels with an INT in the 3rd quarter.
- A fumble recovery to end the game.
Things That Bothered Me:
- A continued emphasis on short passes in the flat for minimal or no yardage. For Odin’s sake, Musgrave – can we just stop? Air it out, man. At some point we have to develop a passing game that worries SOMEONE.
- The Titans were able to convert 3rd down after 3rd down after…
- Lack of effort on the Titan’s TD in the 2nd quarter; slow play by the safeties and no real effort to break up the play.
- Paul Allen calling Marcus Sherels’ smile “pretty”. I remain creeped out.
- Free & loose on protecting the ball (goal-line fumble anyone?).
- Blair Walsh missing a 42 yard field goal. What happened to our Leg-a-tron? Is Locke going to be his downfall?
Things I Hated:
- Seth Olsen’s injury in the 2nd quarter. Neck injuries are terrifying.
- Still no improvement in tackling fundamentals
So that’s it. Next up: regular season. Are the Vikings ready? My sense is they’re not quite ready for prime time. But I hope they surprise me.
Based on what you’ve seen during preseason play, predict the Vikings’ 2013 regular season record: