Another week of preseason “action” has come and gone and Vikings fans have, for the most part anyways, not grown any more confident in the Christian Ponder led offense. In fact, most seem to be getting less comfortable with how this offense is shaping up after Friday’s 16-20 loss in Buffalo. The game was overall pretty sloppy, and it was hard to peer through the slop to try and learn anything, but I’ll give it a whirl anyways.
- While the first team offense looked like Friday was perhaps their first time playing the game known as football, the defensive starters really did a nice job overall. Were there a few blemishes throughout their time on the field? Sure, but they were able to cover for each other and really limit Kevin Kolb (11 yds, 1 INT) and C.J. Spiller (27 rushing yards on 7 attempts). Like we saw many times last year, the first team defense kept the game close while they were on the field, allowing only three points despite the offense hanging them out to dry on a number of occasions.
- Last week I noted the lack of turnovers by out defense. I really think they are close to being one of the NFL’s absolute best defenses, but they have to learn how to force turnovers and capitalize on opportunities before they’ll come close to earning such respect. Jamarca Sanford seems to often be in the right place to make such plays, but frustratingly turns into Mr. McGoo when it comes to catching the ball. After rookie corner Xavier Rhodes disrupted a Kevin Kolb pass on Friday, however, it was Sanford that made the diving grab that gave Minnesota possession of the ball. We will need plenty of plays exactly like that one throughout this season to reappear in the playoffs, but we’ll need them against quarterbacks far more talented than Kold, too.
- I know that the offense needs confidence. I know that Adrian Peterson makes a big difference when he is on the field. Still, I think one of the best things to come out of this game is that the NFL’s current MVP came out of it unscathed because he never played. Leslie Frazier said Peterson is int he game plan for this coming preseason contest, but I can’t say I approve of playing him at all.