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Vikings Preseason Game #2: What Went Wrong

After Teddy Bridgewater’s magical comeback last night, it’s hard to find anything wrong with the Vikings’ performance. Both Bridgewater and Matt Cassel were lights out, and many others played well. There were some causes for concern though, including a couple from Vikings’ starters.

Not Exactly Rhode Island

Xavier Rhodes didn’t have the best of games last night. In the first quarter, A Jaron Brown screen that should have gone for a couple yards turned into a 51-yard scamper after a Rhodes missed tackle. Brown burned Rhodes again for a long pass later in the first half, which put Arizona on the Minnesota 5. Both plays were Rhodes mistakes, and that is definitely concerning. However, Rhodes got some redemption with the hit of the night on tight end Daniel Fells. He’s still the most talented cornerback on the roster, and with some increased ball skills, Rhodes could become Pro Bowl material. We’ll see if he improves next week against the Chiefs in Kansas City.

Walsh Off His Game

The Blair Walsh Vikings fans saw last night was far from the one we have enjoyed watching the past two seasons.  Not only did he miss a 51-yard field goal, but Walsh also missed an extra point attempt after Bridgewater and Rodney Smith put the Vikings ahead. Walsh’s field goal miss is his second straight miss from 50-plus yards. This comes after an NFL record streak of 12 straight field goals made from 50 yards or longer. Even if Walsh isn’t who he was the first two years, he’s still an alright kicker who would start on a lot of teams. I think we can write this game off as a fluke. There were some good things Walsh did, booting 5 strong kickoffs, two of which set up tackles inside the 10-yard line. He apparently was also booting field goals from beyond 60 yards in warm-ups.

Dropping the Ball

The Vikings had some receivers drop passes that should have been caught, most notably Adam Thielen. Thielen let a beautiful ball from Teddy Bridgewater clank off his hands in the end zone. Kyle Rudolph, like Thielen, had a drop in the end zone. He eventually made up for it by hauling in a long reception from Matt Cassel for the Vikings’ first touchdown. Drops are to be expected in any NFL game, but two drops in the same game in the end zone definitely isn’t reassuring.

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