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Vikings Beat the Buccaneers 26-16 for Second Preseason Win

Minnesota quarterbacks Teddy Bridgewater, Shaun Hill and Taylor Heinicke efficiently connected on 27 of 33 pass attempts for 293 yards and two touchdowns to help the Vikings spoil Jameis Winston’s preseason NFL debut.

Bridgewater started the game off hot by hitting Kyle Rudolph for 18 yards on the first play from scrimmage. Two plays later he hit Jarius Wright for a 26 yard reception helping the Vikings get in position for a Blair Walsh 46 yard field goal that gave the Vikings an early 3-0 lead.

Bridgewater was 7/8 in the game for 86 yards and led the Vikings on a five play 38 yard scoring drive that ended with a Zach Line 1-yard touchdown run on the Vikings third possession.

Winston, the first pick in the 2015 NFL draft, played the entire first half and finished 9/19 for 131 yards. He had a pass intercepted by Antone Exum, mishandled two snaps that led to a total of 19 lost yards and several off target passes.

With the Vikings up 9-0 in the first quarter, Everson Griffen welcomed Winston to the NFL with a 9-yard sack on first-and-ten on Tampa Bay’s third possession. Winston played better in the second quarter, but the Vikings managed a 23-9 advantage heading into halftime thanks to a Shaun Hill’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Cordarrelle Patterson and a 15-yard touchdown strike to Adam Thielen.

Three fumbles by Vikings’ running backs and Phil Loadholt’s season ending injury on the second offensive play of the game put a damper on this preseason outing, but the over 50,000 fans at TFC Banks stadium certainly had plenty of highlights to enjoy especially from rookie favorites Eric Kendricks and Stepon Diggs. Kendricks was all over the field in the second half collecting five tackles and a big sack on third and seven late in the game. Diggs had two receptions for 26 yards, but it was his three punt returns for 54 yards that ignited the crowd.

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Carl Knowles

Carl Knowles (Contributor) is a former member of the Professional Bowler Association and an avid lifelong Vikings fan. When he is not bowling you can find him on websites and forum pages sharing his creative insight and enthusiasm for the Minnesota Vikings any chance he gets. Carl was a Phoenix Institute of Technology and Purdue University standout who currently enjoys the challenge of being a graphic director in the printing business. You can follow him on twitter @carlknowles_vt.

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  1. FUUUUUUUdge… I missed the game but how did this (or sportscenter even mention ) not lead of with the Loadholt injury. Thats huge. Now we have NO “B” plan for Kalil with Clemmings at RT and no good backup for Clemmings either.

    Sounds like the game went pretty well but I’m a tad worried about Bridgewater. 9-0 in the first I’m assuming is 3 field goals. 12-14 for well over 100 yards is respectable but im worried about him not finishing drives.

    Coming into the league I saw Bridgewater as an Alex Smith (not an insult but not a compliment) and this makes that comparison seem even greater… Then again I was a big Brady Quinn and Johnny Manziel fan so my QB judgment isn’t as accurate as I have been on other positions.

    1. After reading more I take back the 3 FG comment but still slightly worry about finishing drives in the air. SKOL

    2. Rick needs to hit the FA market to add some Tackle depth.
      I was disappointed in the dumb penalties we had today and some general sloppiness that needs to be cleaned up.Back to back penalties took us from 2nd & 4 to 2nd & 29,drive killer and possible game killer in the regular season.

    1. Yes, but Heinike might be playing too well to hide on the PS? I like his quick release, athleticism and good decision making thus far.

  2. Heineken could be a good backup in a year or two when hill retired maybe trade chase ford for a better backup rt