READ & REACT: PRESEASON GAME 2 VS CARDINALS
The second game of the preseason was a good test for the Vikings. I believe the Arizona Cardinals are a potential 10-win team and playoff contender.
I can’t remember a more memorable preseason game – which isn’t saying a lot because, well, it’s the preseason – but this one will stick with me for many years.
Here’s 3 reasons why:
1. A Good Problem To Have
Teddy Bridgewater was all the talk after the game and for good reason. With 1:11 left, Teddy proved his namesake of “GUMP” (Great Under Major Pressure) by leading the team to a comeback win on a last second pass to WR Rodney Smith.
Sure, Teddy did it against the Cardinal’s second and third-team defenders but it’s not like they just gave the game to him. Most of the players on both sides are fighting for their livelihoods.
Teddy made the right reads and got the ball where it needed to go with the Cardinals sending blitzes. Teddy never let anyone see him sweat. He looked sweat-free and cool on the sidelines after the winning drive. Ice, ice (in the vein) baby.
Is Matt Cassel still the starter? The football experts and writers say yes. Cassel played well and I wouldn’t be mad if he got the nod. I’m a big supporter of Cassel. He’s a true pro and a class act.
The undecided starting QB situation for once is a good problem to have for the Vikings. A hell of a lot better than having an undecided starting QB situation because we don’t have an NFL-caliber QB. Now we’ve got two QBs with the skills to start in the NFL and lead the Vikings.
2. Kyle (And The High-Powered Offense?)
Kyle Rudolph gave us a glimpse of what we hope to see from him in the regular season. Sure, he dropped a TD pass from Cassel early, but finished strong with 4 catches for 89 yards including a 51-yard TD. He can block but has the playmaking abilities of a WR. Rudolph will be a tough matchup for opposing defenses.
In fact, I think the Vikings offense could be problematic for the teams we go up against. With Norv Turner’s offensive schemes and playcalling, the Vikings now have a legitimate offensive with explosive weapons in Kyle Rudolph, Cordarrelle Patterson, Greg Jennings and Adrian Peterson.
Having an offense that can score on long drives that eat up the clock and keep the likes of Aaron Rodgers, Jay Cutler and Matthew Stafford off the field can only help us be competitive. Our rivals can’t score if they don’t have the ball.
3. The Linval Joseph Effect?
Missed tackles and very few timely stops, resulted in a very average performance by our defense overall. I’m not overly concerned because I believe the personnel has improved and they’re still learning head coach Mike Zimmer’s scheme.
Despite Everson Griffen and Sharrif Floyd playing well, I think the Vikings missed Linval Joseph. The Cardinals ran against us effectively and the pressure on passing plays just didn’t seem quite as disruptive.
I’m sure Zimmer will be giving our defense an earful of F-bombs this week on what they need to correct. I have no doubt the D will be wrecking havoc versus the Chiefs next week.