In a game that, largely, featured players that are going to be looking for work in a couple of days, the Dolphins handed the Vikings their second loss of this preseason by a final score of 30-9.
The Dolphins got on the board first in this one, as they took the opening possession and moved 78 yards in 10 plays for the score, capping things with a 1-yard touchdown run by Kenyan Drake. That was all the scoring for the first quarter in this one, as both defenses stiffened up a bit after the initial Miami drive.
Miami struck again in the second quarter, as backup quarterback David Fales found wide receiver Jakeem Grant for a huge 65-yard touchdown pass about three minutes in to give the Dolphins a 14-0 lead. The Vikings answered on their next drive, as Taylor Heinicke found Cayleb Jones for an 8-yard touchdown pass. Marshall Koehn missed the extra point, however, keeping the score at 14-6.
With time winding down before halftime, the Dolphins got another touchdown as Fales found former Marqueis Gray for a 6-yard touchdown. The Vikings appeared to have the Dolphins stopped, but Mackensie Alexander was inexplicably called for taunting after an incompletion on third down to keep the Dolphins’ offense on the field. Miami hit the extra point to make it 21-6. On the Vikings’ next offensive play, Taylor Heinicke was sacked in the end zone to make it 23-6, and that’s how they went into the locker room at halftime.
Another former Gopher, quarterback Mitch Leidner, took over for Heinicke at halftime for the Minnesota offense. His first drive resulted in a three-and-out, so he clearly has a pretty solid grasp of the offense at this point. In all seriousness, Leidner acquitted himself fairly well, and led the Vikings down the field on his second drive, with a Kai Forbath field goal cutting the deficit to 23-9 early in the fourth quarter. The Dolphins then added another touchdown on a pass from Fales to Mitch Mathews. . .who was with the Vikings earlier in the offseason. . .to make it 30-9.
One of the few Vikings’ highlights came later in that fourth quarter, as wide receiver Moritz Böhringer caught his first pass as an NFL wide receiver, a 6-yarder from Leidner. Yeah, it was only the one pass and it didn’t amount to much, but it was still pretty cool.
Looking at the stat sheet for the Vikings in this one, Heinicke had a rough first half for the most part. He finished his night completing 9-of-20 passes for 93 yards and a touchdown. Leidner came in for the second half, and was actually not awful for the most part, completing 14-of-19 for 123 yards.
On the rushing portion of the stat sheet, Bronson Hill led the way for the Vikings with 38 yards on 13 carries. Terrell Newby chipped in with 28 yards on 13 carries, and Heinicke had 18 yards on a pair of scrambles.
The biggest offensive story in this one for the purple was Cayleb Jones, who was a favored target of both Heinicke and Leidner. He finished his evening with 127 yards and a touchdown on nine catches. He certainly made an interesting case for potentially making the team this evening. In fact, he had over 100 yards more than the next highest Vikings, as Kyle Carter had 23 yards on three grabs.
Both the Dolphins and the Vikings finish the preseason with records of 2-2. We know that the Vikings will kick off the season on Monday Night Football on 11 September against the New Orleans Saints. Miami will also open the regular season at home on 10 September, as they host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
The Miami Dolphins take down the Minnesota Vikings in the preseason finale by a final score of 30-9, and now the countdown to the cutdown begins. Teams have to have their 53-man rosters set by 3:00 PM Central time. We will have all of that news for you right here at The Daily Norseman, folks.