Opinion

Six Thoughts About Friday’s “Victory” In Cincy

The Minnesota Vikings came out of their first preseason game in Cincinnati as victors, but that isn’t a title that should go to their heads considering the exhibition game circumstances that included a late two-point conversion attempt that would almost certainly not happen in a real contest.

Regardless, Vikings football was played last night and we can gradually start to trade in our speculative statements for on-field facts.

Here are six quick thoughts about last night’s action against the Bengals:

6. Teddy Looks Pretty Good

Teddy Bridgewater’s deep bomb to Charles Johnson should not be discounted because of the preseason circumstances. He adjusted properly to significant pressure, stepped forward and reset his feet, kept his eyes down field, and hit Johnson in stride for the score. Between that play and the Geno Atkins stiff arm, Teddy impressed me last night, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that he showed enough to consider him an improved quarterback. We’ll be keeping a close eye on that front all year and for a more complete analysis of Bridgewater’s evening don’t miss Austin Belisle’s feature breaking down every snap he took.

5. Those Clemson Guys Could Be Fun

Jayron Kearse is almost comically tall in the back end of the secondary, but that height sure put him at a nice advantage when he came down with the jump ball interception to end the game. Just looking at Kearse, if he can put some other things together, his size would make him a considerable weapon in the defensive secondary. Mackensie Alexander, Kearse’s teammate at Clemson, was the other Vikings rookie that snagged an interception in his NFL debut. Both had mixed performances, a theme that applies to nearly every player that played, but they also showed enough to suspect they’re going to be a part of a Vikings future that is starting to appear even a little brighter.

4. Tre Roberson Won’t Go Away

Cornerback Tre Roberson earned plenty of praise in Mankato after his seemingly successful transition from college quarterback to NFL cornerback. The competent coverage didn’t stop when Roberson departed from Minnesota, however, and he continued to shine on Friday night in Cincinnati. He’s playing against other third-stringers at this point, setting him up for more opportunities at batted passes, but despite that I thought Roberson looked superior to Jabari Price in just about every way.

3. Cordarrelle Patterson M.I.A.

The Minnesota Vikings did not list Cordarrelle Patterson as a pregame inactive, but he still didn’t play. Theories are flying regarding why Patterson was dressed for Friday’s game, but didn’t get in on a single snap. Crazy conspiracies are fun, but the most likely answer is that his shoulder is bothering him and everyone involved would like to exercise¬†caution. Still, it isn’t ideal that Patterson is missing out on preseason playing time, as he could certainly use it.

2. The Starting O-Line Needs To Play Better

Is that an obvious understatement, or what? The offensive line looked scarily similar to what Minnesota fielded in 2015 despite the additions of Alex Boone and Andre Smith, both of whom produced some dubious film for themselves last night. Bridgewater needs to be a quicker decision maker, but two of his best plays also came when blocking broke down and he had to deal with it. It’d be lovely if we could get decent blocking¬†and Teddy’s skill set firing on all cylinders before this team heads to Tennessee.

1. David Morgan Is Clearly Better Than Brian Leonhardt

From my seat in Paul Brown Stadium, I mistakenly assigned partial blame for the punt return touchdown to a whiff by David Morgan… so, upon reviewing the game on a screen, I was pleased to see the truth there only reaffirmed, to me, that Morgan is far superior to Brian Leonhardt. Morgan’s blocking was noticeable in quality, he caught all three of targets thrown to him, he showed some fun skills on his 22 yard rumble, and it should be safe to say that he’ll beat out fellow tight end Brian Leonhardt for a spot on the tight end depth chart. The next point of interest will be to see how the Vikings handle Morgan upon Rhett Ellison’s return from injury.

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Adam Warwas

Adam Warwas (Founder) has been writing about the Vikings for a total of eight years. Five of those years have been here at Vikings Territory where he continues to surround himself with enough talented individuals that people keep coming back. As proud as he is of what Vikings Territory has become, his real treasures are in his home... a beautiful wife and three amazing children (and a dog named Percy).

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10 Comments

  1. I am thinking the same WTF. Won’t know for sure until (if) it happens. But they are really liking Morgan and he did look good last night. Pruitt and Rudy are not going anywhere. Zach is a bull.. Not looking good for Ellison.

  2. I’d say that starting o-line looked worse than last year’s. They better get it together quick because Tennessee looks pretty strong. Do not want to drop the first game, and especially to the Titans. That would be a demoralizer.

  3. Teddy doesn’t get the credit he deserves. Thought he was brilliant again despite the line. Not understand the remarks of reservation people express.

  4. With emergence of Morgan and development of Pruitt could we trade Golden Domer Rudy for maybe a 2nd? There’s a lot to like about that, he’s a good guy and player, but his salary makes him a target for speculation. Say, how’s that rookie DT from Baylor Billings looking?

  5. I respectfully disagree that Morgan is clearly better than Leonhardt. From my point of view, Leonhardt was the superior blocker and had a vastly superior knowledge of the offense and special teams. In addition, he made some big hustles across the field on punts. Sure, Morgan had some nice catches, but he also had nice throws. Leonhardt couldn’t catch a break with lousy tosses over his head and out of reach. I wouldn’t count this “competition” out yet between the two. I think they both offer support to the Vikings now and into the future. Hopefully, Vikings retain both in some format. Final roster or Practice Squad. I like what they both have to offer.

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