Cousins Shines in New Offense, Bailey is Perfect (in XP’s), and the DL is DEEEEEEEP…

Minnesota Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) throws a touchdown pass in the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the New Orleans Saints in New Orleans, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
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Preseason game number 1 is in the books. There were quite a bit of points scored, way too many flags thrown, and plenty of reasons (on all sides of the ball) to be intrigued (Dan Bailey!). Coming in, there were quite a few storylines to keep tabs on. The new look OL, the DL depth, Kubiak’s influence, and like every other Vikings’ season… The kicking game. As much as we want it to be something we don’t have to worry about going into the season. It will be. It is. But, maybe one day it won’t be….

What Popped Off the Field Friday Night:

The new look offense came out firing. There has been a ton of chatter this off-season around Kubiak and Stefanski looking for Kirk to be a better improviser, when things don’t go exactly to plan. They took a majority of the snaps from under center, mixed in some play-action, bootlegs and Kirk really looked comfortable with the game plan. Kirk finished the opening series (his only series) 4/4 65 yards 1 TD along with a drive extending 10 yard run on a 3rd down. A play where Kirk showed great pocket awareness and took what the defense gave him opposed to sitting back in the pocket and taking sack. Something we saw way too many times last season. Minus a Rashod Hill holding penalty early on, the OL did the job. Alexander Mattison was the 1st team reps at RB as Coach Mike Zimmer stated the new turf in New Orleans was a deciding factor in Dalvin Cook not playing.

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With both Linval Joseph and Shamar Stephen sitting out, it was a great chance for the Vikings DL depth to be on display. Game balls go to both Jayln Holmes and Hercules Mata’afa. Holmes was a wrecking ball in the middle with 4 tackles, 1 sack and 1 TFL. Hercules Mata’afa has been a name that we’ve heard all throughout camp and he certainly didn’t disappoint. Hercules finished the game with 3 tackles, 1 sack, 2 TFLs and 2 QB hits. It appears that he could have a very important role, moving forward. There’s a lot to be excited about on defense. Expect these guys to continue giving fits to OL’s, as the pre/regular season goes on.

Dan Bailey. Now, and throughout camp, there has been a lot of chatter surrounding the veteran kicker. The Vikings are trying a handful of new holders, and switching between long snappers. Bailey didn’t have a FG attempt, as the Vikings cashed in their opportunities on offense, along with a pick 6. Bailey went 4/4 on XP’s. Turf. Indoors. Same environment the Vikings play in. Certainly intriguing. Also, Matt Wile. 2 punts. 42.5 per punt. Long of 55. Both inside the 20. Field position, with a defense like this, is so essential to the overall team success.

Clean up the penalties. Replace Bene Benwikere with Captain Munnerlyn, prosper.

Brian Heintz | Minnesota Sports Fan

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