3 Lemons from Vikings 1st Preseason Game

Jan 1, 2023; Green Bay, Wisconsin, USA; A Minnesota Vikings helmet sits on the field during warmups prior to the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports.

The Minnesota Vikings raced to a 10-0 lead at the Seattle Seahawks on Thursday night, courtesy of the club’s second-string players.

Soon after, the third-teamers entered the fold, and the winning stopped. Minnesota lost 24-13 at Lumen Field, an outcome that did not matter because it was the preseason.

3 Lemons from Vikings 1st Preseason Game

On the whole, some players stood out, and those are detailed here. These men can be filed in the lemon — or dud — category, if only for one exhibition game.

1. The Offensive Line

3 Lemons
Jan 11, 2020; Santa Clara, California, USA; Minnesota Vikings center Garrett Bradbury (56) and the offense lines up against the San Francisco 49ers defense during the first half in the NFC Divisional Round playoff football game at Levi’s Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Stop us if you’ve heard this before — the Vikings had a game where offensive line performance was disappointing.

It felt miraculous that backup running back Ty Chandler churned out 70 yards from scrimmage in about half the game. He thrived in spite of the Vikings offensive trenches.

Thankfully, the reservist personnel were the suspects, and the Vikings first-teamers can receive no blame, as every man not named Ed Ingram was on the bench.


2. Andrew Booth (CB)

Grim Injury News for Vikings CB
Aug 14, 2022; Paradise, Nevada, USA; Minnesota Vikings cornerback Andrew Booth Jr. (23) in the first half against the Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports.

Booth was burned Thursday night for a touchdown by someone called Jake Bobo, and that’s how well his summer is going to date. Last year’s 2nd-Rounder had an absolutely golden opportunity this offseason to effectuate his draft stock after Minnesota curiously scribbled one of the NFL’s weakest CB rooms onto the 2023 depth chart.

Yet, for now — with the regular season four weeks away — Booth must put together a phenomenal, almost revolutionary, set of practices and preseason games to blow the defensive coaching staff away. That feels like a longshot.

Booth doesn’t face a roster bubble because he’s so young, but on paper, he shouldn’t have any problem dethroning teammates Akayleb Evans, Joejuan Wiliams, and Mekhi Blackmon for a starter’s job.

Former Vikings coach Mike Zimmer routinely used to say about cornerbacks, “They always get hurt,” so Booth may have to wait for a regular season moment to change the narrative about his first two seasons.

3. Jaren Hall (QB)

Aug 10, 2023; Seattle, Washington, USA; Minnesota Vikings quarterback Jaren Hall (16) passes the ball over Seattle Seahawks offensive tackle Abraham Lucas (72) during the second half at Lumen Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports.

Hall was under siege because of the aforementioned stinky offensive line. He looked good dancing out of the pocket — but that was about it.

The rookie from BYU completed 6 passes on 14 tries for 37 yards in 2 quarters. Had he been in charge of a full regular season game, Minnesota would’ve lost. Hall still has a long way to go before a verdict can be rendered about his trajectory — we’re talking about one preseason game here — but he simply didn’t do much in his first outing.

It’s not the end of the world, yet his performance was quite uninspiring.

Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.