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Stock Market Report: Vikings vs. Raiders

The good, the bad, and the ugly weather from the preseason game between the Minnesota Vikings and Oakland Raiders.

The look of a man that may or may not want to kill his kicker.
The look of a man that may or may not want to kill his kicker.
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Whew. That was the preseasoniest preseason game ever. As if these games weren't already choppy and interminably long enough, a late summer thunderstorm rolled through the Twin Cities during the second quarter, causing a 65 minute delay. (A time that was verified on Twitter by every single bored beat writer at the game.) The Minnesota Vikings and Oakland Raiders were forced to endure way too many field evacuations, missed kicks, and missed chances to return a backup quarterback's errant pass to the end zone. For the most part, the game was Garbage.

I'm only happy when it rains
I'm only happy when it's complicated
And though I know you can't appreciate it
I'm only happy when it rains

You know I love it when the news is bad
And why it feels so good to feel so sad
I'm only happy when it rains

Pour your misery down, pour your misery down on me
Pour your misery down, pour your misery down on me

Thankfully not everything was as miserable as the weather at TCF Bank Stadium. Let's get to the stocks.

Blue Chip Stocks

Teddy Bridgewater. His first drive wasn't too great. He threw a little behind Mike Wallace and Kyle Rudolph and straight up missed Jarius Wright on a third down. But after that? Pure poetry. His improvisation to Jerick McKinnon, his gorgeous rainbow of a touchdown to Charles goodness. We're still in very good gloved hands under center.

Chase Ford. Five catches for 19 yards isn't exactly the stuff that legends are made of. However, his juggling catch while still getting out of bounds followed by holding on in the end zone while getting popped earned him a spot at the top this week. Ford jumped on his opportunity with MyCole Pruitt out due to an injury.

Everyone that watched the entire game. That was a mid-July Red Sox-Yankees-length game that we had to endure tonight. I would personally like to thank everyone on Twitter as well as Fulton Brewery for their delicious Sweet Child Of Vine IPA. Without them I would have fallen asleep or died of boredom around 8:45 PM.

Solid Investments

Matt Kalil. Hey, if he keeps playing well, I'll keep putting him here. I only saw one missed second-level block and he kept Khalil Mack at bay in the few matchups they had. It feels great to see nice, quiet games from our left tackle again.

Marcus Sherels. Hey, if he keeps making great special teams plays, I'll keep putting him here. Remember those four years in a row when we thought Sherels might get cut? Man, that was dumb, wasn't it? He downed a punt inside the 5 and had a great kickoff return just to remind us that he laughs in the face of anyone who dares to doubt his roster spot.

Pass blocking. Even without John Sullivan and Phil Loadholt, the Vikings offensive line was able to deter the Raiders defense from getting to the quarterback for most of the night. Teddy got popped pretty good once, but the team's only sack allowed was when Taylor Heinicke got destroyed in the third quarter. For the most part the quarterbacks had some time to throw.

Charles Johnson. It definitely looks like Johnson is Teddy's go-to receiver so far. Whenever there's trouble, Bridgewater seems to look for #12. Johnson made a nice adjustment on an early slant route that was slightly behind him and of course had the great touchdown grab. Meanwhile, Mike Wallace is still struggling to find his niche through three short preseason stints. He had an easy drop and Bridgewater didn't see Wallace open for an easy third down conversion.

Matt Asiata. Who is this guy catching passes out of the backfield and darting all over the place? Surely it can't be Matt "three yards and a cloud of nothing else" Asiata, can it? He had a better game catching the ball than half of the Vikings' wide receiving corps on Saturday.

Justin Trattou. It sure looks like the Vikings have a third defensive end to rotate in with Brian Robison and Everson Griffen. Trattou has had an amazing preseason while Danielle Hunter has been virtually invisible and Scott Crichton was hurt until this week. Unless something drastic happens before September 14, Trattou should be seeing the first rotational snaps when the games start to count.

Josh Thomas. Thomas had a team-leading six tackles and a merciful game-ending interception. He is really starting to make a push after having two relatively quiet games.

Jeff Locke. At least one Vikings kicker is having a good preseason! All Locke does is pin opponents inside their own 20 yard line. Let's hope that Locke keeps kicking like this all year.

Junk Bonds

Blair Walsh. What. The. Hell. I don't care how windy it was at TCF on Saturday night. (As @thevikingpig put it: "The Blair Wind Project.") You simply cannot miss three field goals and a newfangled extra point. Going 2-for-6 is a nice batting average but it'll get you fired in a hurry if you're an NFL kicker. After his second to last miss, Zimmer stared absolute daggers through his kicker while muttering what I'm sure was a string of expletives.

Nobody will be harder on Walsh than himself--in fact, he tried to kick himself after missing the last field goal but was wide left on his attempt. There is no excuse for how poorly Walsh is kicking so far this preseason. It better get fixed soon.

Run blocking. Jerick McKinnon had nowhere to go for all but one of his carries. The team averaged only 2.7 yards per rush. Not even Adrian Peterson is going to get many yards behind the run blocking that was on display most of the night.

Trae Waynes. No, I'm not calling him a bust by putting him in this section. And he did almost have an interception. Sadly, that one didn't really count because it was thrown by Christian Ponder and nearly picking off Christian Ponder can usually happen by accident. But overall he played pretty poorly again, even after getting less to do by the coaching staff this week. It sucks that the 11th overall pick is probably going to be a project this year.

Cordarrelle Patterson. The bad interception that Hill threw seemed to be his fault. Patterson was pointing to his chest while walking off the field which means he probably ran the wrong route. He also didn't get to return any kickoffs, which seems like the only way he's going to make an impact at this rate.

Mother Nature. C'mon, it's the preseason. We don't need these games to last any longer than they already do. And can you imagine being a beer vendor at TCF Stadium during that delay? Those poor people.

Great Depression Level Stock Market Crash

Blair Walsh again. Just in case you missed it the first time around. I mean, what the hell happened? This isn't the yips--it's forgetting how to kick it through the uprights altogether. Are Walsh and Locke filming some sort of clichéd body switch comedy that we don't know about?


Buy: Finally seeing "The Bru's Brothers" in together at linebacker. Anthony Barr and Eric Kendricks have a chance to be the foundation of a very good linebacking corps in the coming years, so it was good to see them on the field together. (Especially in the nickel package!)

Buy: Everson Griffen's leadership. Griff didn't do a whole bunch in the couple drives worth of snaps he had but it was great to see him get excited about literally everything on the sideline throughout the night. His enthusiasm is infectious. Just look at this reaction when backup fullback Blake Renaud scored a touchdown in the third quarter:

Griffen Peterson TD reaction

(image via @cjzero)

By contrast, look at Adrian Peterson giving a disinterested spit. Sometimes a gif is worth a thousand words. Just for good measure, check out the dance party that he and Robison had at the end of the game:

Griffen kicks ass no matter where he is on the field.

Sell: Reading too much into the play calling. For a while it looked like Norv Turner might have been paying homage to Bill Musgrave returning to Minnesota by the predictable run, run, pass nonsense. It might be a bit of a concern until you remember the Vikings play the Raiders again in November, and that one actually counts. You don't want to give Oakland a bunch of tape to work with, so being a little vanilla Saturday night was just fine.

Buy: Remembering how terrible we had it before Teddy Bridgewater arrived. Before Christian Ponder finally took the field after the rain delay and dug up not-so-distant memories of his ineptitude, we got to watch Josh Freeman and Joe Webb do battle while the Miami Dolphins took on the Carolina Panthers in their preseason game. #NeverForget.

Buy: The "Wired for Sound" part of the broadcast when the guy actually has something to say. Tom Johnson coaching up Sharrif Floyd on the sideline was great.

Sell: The "Wired for Sound" part of the broadcast when the guy isn't saying anything. Hearing Tom Johnson grunt and say "let's go" 40 times isn't good television.

Buy: No Loadholt-like injuries that we know of yet, which is always the main goal of the preseason. Heinicke's sternum, Shaun Hill's hand, and Walsh's pride are all going to be a little sore on Sunday but it sounds like we're 60% of the way through the preseason without any new major injuries.

Gemma Thompson Quote of the Day

If you thought Mother Nature wasn't feeling it tonight, she had nothing on my daughter. We had a wedding in Duluth on Friday night. Between staying up way past bedtime dancing and all the travel, Gemma wasn't exactly enthused about sitting down to watch football with Daddy. This is all I could get out of her when I asked her to say "Skol Vikings" at the beginning of the game:


And so The Little Mermaid on the iPad won out until bedtime. With how the game turned out, I can't say I blame her. At least she still has some pretty sweet dance moves.

Twirl game

A video posted by Eric Thompson (@ericjthompson81) on