9 Winners from the Vikings First Preseason Game vs. the Seahawks
The Minnesota Vikings took on the Seattle Seahawks in their first preseason action of the 2023 season.
They may have lost 24-13, but this was a great opportunity for the players to get in some real NFL action. In the aftermath of the game, here is a look at 8 winners from the Vikings first preason game of the new campaign.
IOL Alan Ali
Ed Ingram started the night at right guard, but after a rough go for the 2022 second-round pick, it was UDFA Alan Ali who stepped in for the remainder of the first half. Throughout the rest of the half, Ali impressed at the position. With the Vikings remaining rather thin at the interior offensive line with Chris Reed still on NFI, don’t be surprised if Ali is in the mix for a roster spot this fall.
LT Vederian Lowe
With Blake Brandel indeed getting the start at left guard, that left the LT duties for second-year player Vederian Lowe. Overall, it was a strong showing for Lowe in his first preseason action of the new year, showcasing some strong pass protection and opening up lanes in the running game. If Brandel is making the switch to guard, that leaves Lowe direcetly in line for the LT2 spot this season.
RB Ty Chandler
Ty Chandler did a little bit of everything for the Vikings in the preseason opener. He tallied 11 carries for 41 yards, 4 catches for 29 yards, and even showed off some blocking chops in pass protection. The second-year RB is poised to take on a big role as RB2 behind Alexander Mattison this year, so the showing was a great sign.
WR Jordan Addison
Jordan Addison was robbed of his first NFL catch on a sublime toe-tapping grab along the sidelines, but while that catch didn’t count, it simply further showcased his extreme body control and soft hands as a receiver. The Vikings first-round pick did get another catch, though, that went for 22 yards. Had QB Nick Mullens hit him in stride rather than forcing him to slide and make the catch, it likely would have been a much more gaudy yardage total. Overall, it was a good first impression from the young receiver.
CB NaJee Thompson
A surefire way for an undrafted free agent to make an NFL roster is by making positive impacts on the special teams. NaJee Thompson did just that. Not only did Thompson obliterate Easop Winston for no gain on a return, but on the very next Seahawks punt, he downed a ball inside Seattle’s five. The gunner is an underrated part of a roster, and the UDFA certainly looked the part in Week 1 of preseason action. There is still a long way to go, but this was a great start for him.
TE Nick Muse
Nick Muse secured the sole touchdown of the night for the Vikings, capping off an 80-yard drive with a nifty leaping catch in the end zone. For a position as deep as the tight end spot for Minnesota, big plays like this in the receiving game could be what keeps the second-year player in the mix for a roster spot.
DT T.J. Smith
Minnesota has a big defensive tackle battle this season behind the likely starters of Dean Lowry, Harrison Phillips, and Khyiris Tonga. T.J. Smith made his presence felt in the preseason opener by getting a paw on a Drew Lock pass that was intercepted by fellow rookie Jaylin Williams.
LB Ivan Pace
Ivan Pace had a couple struggles in pass coverage, but we already knew that was a weakness of his coming into the game. He certainly lived up to his perceived strengths, though, making a big impact in the trenches. He often found himself disrupting plays in the backfield, and the linebacker finished the game with 6 total tackles.
OLB Luiji Vilain
The Vikings need to find some young pass-rushing talent to help out Danielle Hunter and Marcus Davenport this season. Luiji Vilain showed why he could be just the guy for the job against Seattle. He was an absolute menace against the Seahawks offensive line on Thursday night, recording 3 QB hits and a sack over the course of the game.
Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of PurplePTSD.com. When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.