Texans: Five Things To Watch

matt-schaub

Tomorrow night the Vikings will be in Houston for their third preseason game.  Here are five things to keep a close eye on as the game goes on:

1.  All Of The QBs:  Brett Favre will play for an entire half, which should allow us to get a better look at him than we did last week.  Tarvaris Jackson, Sage Rosenfels, and John David Booty will split the remaining time in some fashion.  It will be interesting to see how the Vikings depth chart shakes out at quarterback, and this game could tell us a lot about how the Vikings are leaning as the final roster cuts loom.

2.  Watch Those Who Don’t Play:  This week the Vikings will have to trim their roster down to 75 men from 79 (they already waived Glenn Holt).  Typically teams already know who they’re cutting and will not play these guys because if they get hurt in the game then the team is responsible for a certain portion of their contract.  Keep an eye out to see if you can spot the four players who you think will be cut after this game by their lack of participation int he game itself.

3.  Bad Blood:  The trenches could get violent during this preseason game.  Last year Jared Allen was widely criticized for taking a supposedly “dirty shot” at Matt Schaub.  Schaub missed time as a result.  Guard Chester Pitts called Allen a scumbag and then was responsible for giving Allen a shoulder injury that lingered for the rest of his season.  It could get ugly in there tomorrow.

4.  Full Strength:  The Vikings have been relatively lucky on the injury front thus far.  In fact, we will get a chance to see the entire starting defense on the field for the first half.  Both Jared Allen and Pat Williams will be back on the field.  Last year there were many Vikings fans that wished the starting defense could’ve just stayed healthy, and pondered how dangerous they would’ve been.  Well, they’ll have a shot to show their stuff in Houston.

5.  About Those Blitzes:  The Vikings struggled with the Chiefs throwing zero blitzes at us early on.  This is the same blitz that basically was responsible for the Vikings playoff loss to the Eagles last year.  With Mario Williams on one side of the line, and Connor Barwin (1 sack in each preseason game so far) on the other side, the Vikings could have trouble keeping Favre on his feet.  To make matters worse, rookie starting right tackle Phil Loadholt has a mysterious injury and whether or not he will play is unknown.  To make matters even worse than that, tight end Jim Kleinsasser (that guy that helps Bryant McKinnie from giving up 10 sacks per game) will not be playing because of an arm injury.

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