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Aug 29

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Preseason Game 3: Vikings vs Cowboys

The Vikings came into the 3rd preseason game (4th for them with the Hall of Fame game) at 3-0. They left the game 4-0. Mike Zimmer is perfect in the preseason since taking the helm of the Vikings. I wish that would translate to regular season games! I must admit that I’m feeling rather positive about the Vikings and their performance to date as we head into the regular season in two weeks.

Teddy was in control tonight.

Teddy was in control tonight.

The Good

  • Vikings were the first to score with a field goal late in the 1st quarter
  • The Vikings’ defense held the Cowboys to punts in the 1st quarter
  • Teddy hit Wallace on a deep ball for 39 yards
  • Cordarelle Patterson is alive and apparently can still run. 6 points for a TD on a kick-off return of 107 yards. Fun to watch. Let’s see it in the regular season when it counts.
  • Teddy finished the night 7/7 for 76 yards. He’s looking really sharp and has a preseason QB Rating of 111.7. Can’t wait to see what the offense will do when the real season starts.
  • In a pinch, Blair Walsh can punt. He can maybe punt better than Locke.
  • Tom Johnson had a great sack on Dustin Vaughn in the 2nd quarter for a loss of 14 yards. Would love to see that lots in the regular season – especially if it’s Aaron Rodgers’ face being driven into the turf.
  • Blair Walsh barely made a 48 yard field goal. The making of it was the good part. I hope having a named long-snapper (Kevin McDermott) will help smooth out his performance. Shout out Cullen Loeffler for 12 years of great performance.
  • Taylor Heinicke has some skills at QB. Hopefully we’ll at least keep him on the practice squad.
  • Dominique Williams had a nice 4 yard rushing TD in the middle of the 3rd quarter, putting the Vikings ahead, a lead that they maintained through the end of the game.
  • Heinicke to Chase Ford for a 2-point conversion after the Williams rushing TD.
  • Eric Kendricks had a very strong game. He wasn’t much to listen to as a mic’ed up player, but maybe that’s a good thing. His focus was on doing the job, making the team; not trash talking or running his mouth to try to prove himself.
  • Audie Cole recovered a fumble in the 4th quarter.
  • A Heinicke hand-off to Joe Banyard led to another Vikings TD late in the 4th quarter, giving the Vikings a 28-14 lead.
Coach Zimmer isn't taking any crap from undisciplined dodos.

Coach Zimmer isn’t taking any crap from undisciplined dodos.

The Bad

  • Saw issues with stopping the run when the starting defense was in the game.
  • Also saw some weak tackling at times throughout the game. Constant them with this team.
  • Trae Waynes is still looking like an unproven rookie. Will be watching him during the regular season to see if he’s going to be worth the draft pick.
  • Shaun Hill went for a deep ball to Stefon Diggs in the 2nd quarter; instead of a completion, he was intercepted.
  • The 2nd string o-line started failing in the waning minutes of the 3rd quarter, letting the Cowboys’ defenders through to Heinecki repeatedly. Granted, the 2nd string players aren’t going to start, but I think we can all agree that the Vikings have had a run of bad luck with the offensive line starters over the last few years.

This capuchin monkey isn't happy with this stuff!

This capuchin monkey isn’t happy with this stuff!

The Ugly

  • 7 penalties on the Vikings in the 1st half. That’s unbelievably sloppy.
  • Walsh missed a 43 yard field goal at the end of the 3rd quarter. He’s only 4 for 7 in the preseason. He used to be so dependable. What has happened to him?
  • The 2nd half continued to lack discipline in the tackling and penalty arena. I can only assume that head coach Mike Zimmer is going to address that with the team this week as we had into the last preseason game.

The Inexplicable

  •  Audie Cole not starting in the 3rd preseason game at mike. What happened? He needs playing time. I think it’s clear that he has heart and talent. Let him get some first string reps where he belongs. Unofficially, Audie Cole is still listed as the starting middle linebacker; however, that’s a work in progress as Zimmer & his coaching staff continue to evaluate the talent. I, for one, will be watching the depth chart as we head into the first regular season game.

That’s the third preseason game in the bag, Vikings brethren. Predict the future in the poll below! See you next week for the last 2015 preseason game!

 

 

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