With the second week of the preseason behind us, it’s time to take some serious stock of the Vikings roster in terms of who’s going to make it and who isn’t. You know, if the NFL preseason is the evolution of a relationship, the second preseason game is the ‘stay or go’ moment. The first game is like the first date that goes well. You have a good time, you seem to have a lot in common, and you decide to see where this thing leads.
By the second preseason game, you sort of know each other a little better, both good and bad. There are some qualities you really really...LOV-like, LIKE...but there’s some stuff that makes you nod your head and think ‘yeah, totally get why she’s still single. Just what the hell is the deal with the anal retentive arrangement of her hair products, left to right tallest bottle to shortest bottle? And her feet look abnormally large for the rest of her body. Weird.’
But, she’s got a solid job in a promising career, she doesn’t do meth, she almost never goes barefoot, and someday she’d like to have kids, just like you, but she’s only said stuff like that in general theory-type discussions. She wasn’t all psycho nuts and had them named by your second date, and part of you thinks there’s a chance she might be the one. I mean buddy THERE IS POTENTIAL THERE. Every time you dream of a future, more and more she’s in it, Sasquatch feet and all.
Look man, let it go with the feet. Everyone has ugly feet.
So, it’s time. You either commit to this woman long term, or be merciful and end it now. But what if you make the plunge and she doesn’t feel the same way? You THINK she does, because she hasn’t dumped you yet. That’s a good sign, but then again sometimes you’re about as dumb as Antonio Brown and out of date football helmets when it comes to reading people and situations. So you have some doubt.
But if you think this is The One, you hold on, jump in with both feet, you keep dreaming, and risk the heartbreak, like the 90 players fighting for 53 spots. Hold on..tight...to your dreams.
It’s a long time to be gone
Time just rolls on and on
When you need a shoulder to cry on
When you get so sick of trying
Hold tight to your dream
The SMR that won’t mistake Kyle Rudolph for Chad Beebe follows.
Adam Thielen, WR: Thielen does the remarkable on such a regular basis that I am kind of running out of superlatives for the guy. He had another remarkable catch, and drew another pass interference.
When it was challenged by Pete Carroll, Thielen literally walked over to Seattle’s sideline and was making fun of Carroll for challenging it. Glorious:
Harrison Smith, S: Harrison Smith made two plays that remind you just how special and versatile he is. He came from out of nowhere to break up a pass that looked to be wide open, negating a potential big play. Later, he read a run play perfectly and dropped Rashaad Penny for no gain.
Jayron Kearse, S: Kearse had himself a game, registering three tackles for loss and generally creating mayhem and havoc the whole time he was out there. I’m convinced Kearse would be starting on over half the teams in the NFL. Glad he’s on the Vikings, and I think he’s going to have a big season.
Kyle Sloter, QB: If there was a preseason Hall of Fame, Sloter would be a first ballot inductee. He went 11/13 for 116 yards and another TD, leading the Vikings on a long scoring drive that pretty much iced the game.
Alexander Mattison, RB: Mattison looked a little bit better with the first team this week than he did last week, really good with the second team, and we finally saw him break one into the open field on a 22 yard run, the longest of the game for any team. Mattison and the Vikings also dodged a bullet when it looked like Mattison was tackled awkwardly early in the game. It was initially ruled a fumble, but he was down, and his knee, thankfully, was not injured.
Irv Smith, Jr., TE: Last week, I had Smith as a ‘hold’, as he did some good things and some things he needed to improve on. Against the Seahawks, it was mostly good. He tied for the team lead in receptions with five, and had his first professional touchdown, a three yard reception from Sean Mannion right before halftime.
Kaare Vedvik, P/K,Missing Link, Answer To All Kicking Problems: Vedvick made his kicking debut for the Vikings, handling all kickoff duties, most punting duties, and even kicked an extra point. He averaged 46 yards on three punts, and put one inside the 10. His kickoffs all went into the end zone except one, and if tonight is any indication, Dan Bailey will kick field goals, while Vedvik looks to be the kickoff specialist and punter.
Kirk Cousins, QB: Cousins had a good night. He had two plays that were largely forgettable, but ended up 6/8 for 68 yards. On the first drive he floated a screen to Mattison that had he hit would have gone for about 40 yards and a TD, and he fumbled an exchange with Garrett Bradbury. A promising drive that included a fourth and one conversion stalled, but on the second drive he hit Thielen on that long pass, and the Vikes kicked a field goal.
Karter Schult, DE: Schult really flashed in the second half of the game, making some nice plays off the edge. I don’t know that it will be enough to make the final 53 man roster, but he played a really solid football game.
Ifeadi Odenigbo, DE: I don’t know that Odenigbo is a four down player, and behind Everson Griffen and Danielle Hunter he won’t start, anyway, but situationally, he can be a really effective pass rusher. He had three pressures off the edge, and was credited with half a sack.
Trae Waynes, CB: The Vikings first team defense has been uninspiring so far this preseason. Coverages, while vanilla, have left opponents wide open downfield. They gave up big completions of 29, 19, and 33 yards to the Seahawks first team offense, and by my count Waynes was responsible for two of those big completions.
Holton Hill, CB: What a dumb play Hill’s hit on Paxton Lynch was. Don’t drop your head. Don’t lead with the head. You’re taught that in pee-wee football. Hill got ejected, and could face another game or two suspension on top of the eight he’s already carrying. Just flat out stupid.
That Paxton Lynch hit was baaaaaaaad pic.twitter.com/BduSwGBFcu— Evan Webeck (@EvanWebeck) August 19, 2019
Buy: Duke Thomas strip. Thomas has had a rough camp and first preseason game, and he really needed to make a play. He did, forcing a fumble after a completed pass.
Sell: Duke Thomas premature celebration after the strip. But he celebrated a bit too early, and the Seahawks ended up recovering the football. Granted, he wasn’t really in position to jump on the ball, as momentum from the strip kind of moved him away from where the ball was bouncing. Still not a good look, though.
Buy: First team offensive line pass protection, kind of. There were a couple breakdowns, most notably when Kirk Cousins had to bail out of the pocket and throw the ball away just so he wasn’t murdered. But overall, Cousins had time to set up and make throws, and made some nice plays.
Sell: First team offensive line run blocking, kind of. Like last week, the first team offensive line had trouble opening holes for Matison. I thought he had a little more room to run, but it wasn’t consistent, and the best run Mattison had with the first team unit was only five yards.
Buy: Sean Mannion-led TD drive at the end of the first half. After a pick six that gave Seattle the lead midway through the second quarter, the Vikings got the ball back with just under two minutes, down 10-3. Mannion led the offense 63 yards on seven plays, and it was capped by his three yard pass to Irv Smith for the game-tying score. I know it’s only preseason, but last year the Vikings just seemed to pack it in when a play went against them last year. I know the two aren’t related, but it was still nice to see.
Sell: Mannion pick-six. But Mannion’s interception was brutal. It looked like there was a miscommunication between him and Chad Beebe, so it could have been a wrong route that was run, but the ball should have never been thrown. Just a bad sequence all the way around,
Buy: Mike Boone is RB3. Mike Boone and Ameer Abdullah were locked in a pretty pitched battle for RB3, but it feels that after two preseason games, Boone has taken the lead. Abdullah didn’t play against Seattle, and Boone made the most of the opportunity. He had over 20 carries, and one reception for 45 yards. He’s looked very good so far this year, and is earning the RB3 spot.
Sell: Kyle Sloter is QB3. Sloter needs a serious look at QB2. He just plays football very well when the lights come on, and if nothing else, has earned a look with the rest of the second team.
Buy: Brandon Zylstra and Laquon Treadwell both flashed. Both Zylstra and Treadwell had good games. Zylstra had five catches, and Treadwell took over in the fourth quarter. Zylstra finished with five catches, 37 yards, and a touchdown. Treadwell had four catches for 47 yards, and led the team in receiving yards. And based on that alone, you would think there was a pitched battle for WR4 right now.
Sell: The Laquon Treadwell bandwagon. But if you thought Treadwell was making a final push to secure roster spot, you would be wrong, gentle reader. NAY! So, what was going on? Per Mike Zimmer, the team was showcasing Treadwell for other teams. I don’t know how you need any more clarity on that situation; Laquon Treadwell is as good as gone.