All the Minnesota Vikings do is win thrillers in the All-Important Third Preseason Game™ at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Kyle Sloter engineered two fourth-quarter touchdown drives. . .and may have secured a promotion in the process. . .as the purple came from behind to defeat the Seattle Seahawks by a final score of 21-20.
The big story of the first half, and the game as a whole. . .in a bad way. . .was the performance of rookie kicker Daniel Carlson. After winning the job this week when the Vikings cut Kai Forbath, Carlson had two 42-yard attempts in the first half of play, and he pushed them both wide to the left.
The first-string offense for the Vikings was fairly solid, for the most part. Their scoring drive in the first half was a massive 13-play, 97-yard effort that was capped by a 1-yard run by Latavius Murray that gave the Vikings a 6-0 lead to start the second quarter. (The Vikings went for two after the touchdown, with Cousins’ pass for Laquon Treadwell falling incomplete.) On the evening, Cousins went 17-of-28 for 182 yards through the air, and the Vikings went 7-of-9 on third downs in the first half after the team, collectively, went 0-for-12 in the previous game against Jacksonville. The starting offense played the entire first half, and though they were a bit up-and-down, I thought they were solid overall.
Seattle took a 10-6 lead into the locker room at halftime, thanks to a Chris Carson touchdown run and a Sebastian Janikowski 35-yard field goal. Janikowski connected from 55 midway through the third quarter to give the road team a 13-6 lead.
On the Vikings’ second possession of the third quarter, Trevor Siemian took it upon himself to do his best Brad Johnson impression.
Siemian looked pretty poor overall, however. He lasted one quarter and completed 4-of-8 passes for three yards. Yes, 3.
Newly-acquired George Iloka finally got into the game on defense in the fourth quarter, and immediately made an impact, tipping an Alex McGough pass that was intercepted by Anthony Harris to give the Vikings the ball at the Seattle 32.
Adrian Peterson tips a pass to Mistral Raymond for the interception. Rhett Ellison injured on the play. pic.twitter.com/YssQwq6aX5— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) August 25, 2018
Minnesota took advantage of the turnover, as Kyle Sloter. . .who went 4-for-4 on his first drive. . .found the pride of Maple Grove, Jake Wieneke, for a 1-yard score with Carlson’s extra point making it 13-13.
Seattle answered the Minnesota touchdown with one of their own, as McGough attonned for his turnover by leading the Seahawks down the field. He connected with receiver David Moore for a 36-yard touchdown on a broken coverage by the Vikings, and Janikowski’s extra point put the road team back on top by a score of 20-13.
Moore nearly struck again, as he provided the Vikings’ punt return unit with their third disaster in three weeks. He broke free for what appeared to be a 75-yard punt return for a score, but it was called back by a holding penalty. That’s definitely going to be an issue for the Vikings, and they need to fix it in short order.
Speaking of punt returns, undrafted rookie Chad Beebe had a good one of his own to put the Vikings in position to score near the end of the game.
Chad Beebe living up to the name with an excellent return pic.twitter.com/dckhWjApgK— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) August 25, 2018
That led to this outstanding touchdown from Sloter to Beebe on a 4th-and-15 with the Vikings out of timeouts and under a minute remaining.
That was a 25-yarder for the score, and the Vikings took the lead back with a two-point conversion from Sloter to Wieneke to make it 21-20 in favor of the good guys.
The amount of grit on this go-ahead drive was through the roof pic.twitter.com/LwrJr5kSZU— Arif Hasan (@ArifHasanNFL) August 25, 2018
Seattle got themselves to midfield on their last-ditch effort, and got a shot at a Hail Mary at the end, but McGough’s pass was caught at the 2-yard line and the Vikings’ stopped the receiver short to hold on for a 21-20 win.
Minnesota did have a mild injury scare, when third-string running back Mike Boone went down on the go-ahead drive in the fourth quarter. He was on the sideline walking under his own power by the end of the game, so it would appear that it’s nothing serious.
We’ll have more on this one over the course of the next few days, as the Minnesota Vikings defeat the Seattle Seahawks in a preseason “thriller” by a score of 21-20. Thank you to everyone that got their coverage of this week’s game right here at The Daily Norseman!