Three Takeaways from Vikings’ Preseason Game-3 vs. Seahawks
Preseason game-3 is in the books and it ended with a 21-20 happy ending over the Seattle Seahawks. Game three, usually referenced as the “dress rehearsal” for the regular season, had both some ups and definitely some downs.
Below I will cover the three takeaways I had from a game that showed promise, while also showing cause for concern.
1) The connection between Cousins and Diggs is real:
Diggs was Cousins’ favorite receiver against the Seahawks. Their connection was something of beauty at times. The play to remember is the back shoulder throw that not many QBs can make. The thing about this throw though, is not very many receivers can make this catch either. So how/why does Cousins make this throw? Trust.
A nice surprise was also the much-awaited appearance of Laquon Treadwell, who finally showed his face tonight. We knew he had been impressing in camp, but the question remained… could it translate to a semi-real-life game. We needed to see this type of performance out of him, before we could go confidently into the season with Treadwell as our full-time WR3.
With Adam Thielen, there is still work to be done, as proven by this overthrow. They were clearly trying to get the chemistry between Cousins and Thielen working as evidenced by a few screen passes they ran for him. Cousins misses him here, but Kirk had a few of these last night, and not just while throwing to Adam.
2) The offensive line is still a work in progress:
We all know about the concern along the offensive line for the Vikings. There were positives. Mike Remmers and Rashod Hill were back from injuries, although they only played one series. Just getting them back on the field is a big step. Now, they have to improve their chemistry, with the rest of the line, during practice.
Danny Isidora has been a bright spot in the first two preseason games. However, today was not a strong day for him. He did play more snaps against the first team Seahawks defense, than he has vs other 1st teams this preseason, but those extra snaps didn’t help him impress anyone.
On this sack play, neither Danny Isidora (RG #63) nor Tom Compton (LG #79) did their job in protection correctly. Isidora freezes and blocks nobody, leaving (C) Cornelius Edison to block Tom Johnson (Seattle #91) by himself, without the ability to get one finger on the bilitzing linebacker. Meanwhile, Compton has absolutely no idea a linebacker is blitzing because he is busy double-teaming the DE, who did nothing but give a phony move to the inside to try and trick our LG… and it worked. Boom goes Kirk Cousins.
3) Players are fighting hard for their roster spots:
Mike Boone pretty much secured his spot on the roster as RB3 today. His runs were powerful and he fought to the end of every run. A late game injury is concerning, but it didn’t seem severe, fortunately.
The Vikings’ roster is stacked. Because of that, there may have to be cuts where we don’t expect them.
Could we go into the season carrying only two QBs? If so, do we keep experience or promise?
Trevor Siemian has the starting experience you want in a back up QB, but he hasn’t shown anything of promise in any of the first three preseason games. Kyle Sloter on the other hand, has been lights out in his time on the field. We do have to keep in mind, however, that Sloter has really only seen 3rd-string defenses. I’d like to see him against, at least, the 2nd-string units in the next preseason game. Better yet, let’s have Siemian and Sloter trade-off every series, for the entire game, since Cousins won’t play.
Sloter had two touchdown passes that kept us in the game tonight. The first was to Maple Grove hometown hero, Jake Wieneke. The ball was thrown high, but with Wieneke’s height, it was thrown to a great spot, for the touchdown.
The second touchdown was the game winner to Chad Beebe. I would like to note here, that the play before this, Sloter was sacked and it was completely his fault. He didn’t adjust the offensive line protection for the blitzer, and went down as a result. Nonetheless, he did make up for it with this bullet of a throw…. on the run.
Speaking of Chad Beebe, hee’s been fighting very hard for his own roster spot as one of the last WR’s to make the team. With injuries holding Coley and King out of this game, it gave him and Brandon Zylstra plenty of time to show what they are made of. Zylstra may have still had some lingering effects from his injury, as we did not get to see him as much as I had hoped. Beebe, on the other hand, was all over the place… including punt returns.
The safety battle is also heating up, with the acquisition of George Iloka. Can the Vikings keep 5 safeties? If not, who would get cut: Anthony Harris or Jayron Kearse. The punt coverage, so far this preseason, has just been abysmal and Kearse adds a lot of much-needed experience as a gunner, so he may be invaluable.
Iloka showed his presence quickly, though. On just his first series he caused this interception for Anthony Harris.
We definately have work to do with the guys who stay, while Zimmer and Spielman have some hard roster decisions to make by September 1st.
Ian Parrague @SuperSkolFan
Minnesota Sports Fan