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Vikings at Titans: Observations From the First Half

The Vikings are at it again, up 16-0 at halftime in Nashville.

Blair Walsh went 3/3 on field goals in the first half, with his longest coming from 45 yards. He has now made his past 6 field goals after missing two in the second game.

Teddy Bridgewater engineered another touchdown drive, which isn’t surprising. He capped it with his fifth touchdown of the preseason to his “main man” Adam Thielen. Bridgewater went without his gloves tonight, most likely because of the rain. He went 4/9 for 17 yards. Hmmmm….I wonder if they really do help.

Josh Robinson got beat on a couple plays in the first quarter. After an a training camp in which he was injured almost the whole time, he needs to impress the coaching staff enough to make the roster. I don’t think he’s a definite lock. Mike Zimmer made it apparent that he wasn’t happy with Robinson’s recovery from a hamstring injury. He said that a player “can’t make a team from the tub” and called Robinson “that other guy.”

Joe Banyard was darting through holes throughout the first half. Right now, he’s basically playing for the possibility of getting signed in free agency by another team. The fact that Asiata isn’t playing tonight means that Asiata has made the team. I’d be pretty shocked if the Vikings carried four running backs. Still, Banyard looked very impressive in the first half.

Both Audie Cole and Jasper Brinkley started, with Brinkley in the middle and Cole playing the weakside backer. That may affirm that Brinkley is the starting MLB, but it could also mean that the competition isn’t over. We really can’t assume anything until Week 1.

Christian Ponder didn’t look all that bad (astoundingly). He came into the game and on his first drive went 3/4. He should have gone 4/4 with a touchdown pass, but Joe Banyard dropped the ball in the end zone. Ponder ended up 5/7  for 52 yards.

So much for no injuries tonight. Adam Thielen left in the second quarter after his leg was pulled two different ways by a couple of Titan defenders. Matt Vensel of the Star Tribune tweeted that Thielen had a hip injury, and is questionable to return. Before getting hurt, Thielen had 3 catches for 30 yards, along with his first-ever touchdown.


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