It’s obviously a bit too early to know whether or not the chances the Minnesota Vikings made on defense this offseason will be significant, but based on the preseason opener against the Seattle Seahawks the early returns are pretty promising.
The Vikings looked pretty solid early on and took a lead into halftime, but struggled significantly more in the second half, falling to the Seahawks by a final score of 24-13 at Lumen Field.
The teams exchanged three-and-outs to start the game, but then the Vikings dented the scoreboard first on a 26-yard field goal from Greg Joseph to make it 3-0. They followed that up with the game’s first touchdown on their next possession, as Nick Mullens found Nick Muse in the end zone for a 4-yard score to make it 10-0 early in the second quarter.
Seattle had an answer, however, scoring on their next two possessions to tie things up. They scored on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Drew Lock to Easop Winston Jr. to make the score 10-7 going into the locker room at halftime. They then took the first possession of the second half and turned it into a 35-yard field goal by Jason Myers to make it 10-10.
On Seattle’s next possession, the Minnesota defense generated a turnover, courtesy of T.J. Smith deflecting a Lock pass into the hands of rookie Jaylin Williams for an interception.
Minnesota took the lead back after the turnover, courtesy of a 54-yard field goal by Joseph to make it 13-10 with a few minutes left in the third quarter of play. The Vikings forced Seattle to punt it away, but committed a huge special teams miscue when rookie Thayer Thomas didn’t get away from a punt that he couldn’t make a decision on and bounced the ball back to the Seahawks at the Minnesota 30.
Thayer Thomas would probably like that back pic.twitter.com/A60F9qGWt2— Vikings Blogger (@firstandskol) August 11, 2023
Seattle turned that into their first lead of the night, as Lock found Jake Bobo for a 19-yard score on the final play of the third quarter, with Myers’ extra point making it 17-13 as we headed to the final stanza.
The Vikings found themselves with a 4th-and-1 situation at the Seahawks’ 35-yard line on their first possession of the fourth quarter, but DeWayne McBride could not get that yard so the Vikings turned it over on downs. Seattle then added to their lead on a 30-yard touchdown pass from Holton Ahlers to Matt Landers to make it 24-13.
Minnesota never really threatened again, as Jaren Hall had a rough night in his first NFL game, taking a few sacks and generally struggling to find receivers. The Seahawks took the victory formation after a failed fourth-down attempt, and they walked away with the 24-13 victory.
We’ll have plenty more to talk about concerning this game over the next couple of days, but for the most part the guys that are higher up on the depth chart looked solid in this one, at least in my opinion. Stay tuned right here for more coverage of the Vikings’ preseason opener.