A Minnesota Vikings Preseason Primer
Football, though of the preseason variety, is almost here. As a result, we’re putting out this Minnesota Vikings preseason primer to give you some introductory information. Keep in mind that the preseason has been reduced to a mere three games. With that said, our primer.
The Minnesota Vikings Preseason Primer
Game #1: Broncos at Vikings, Sat. August 14, 4 p.m.
What to Watch For: There are a variety of connections between these two teams.
Vic Fangio – Denver’s HC – was Chicago’s DC for several seasons. He’s a great defensive mind. Pat Shurmur was Minnesota’s OC during the magical 2017 season, and he is now the OC for Denver. Moreover, George Paton was in Minnesota’s front office for years, but he’s now the GM for the Broncos. He’s good at what he does. Minnesota is pretty familiar with a lot of folks in charge in Denver.
Perhaps the most notable connection, of course, is at QB. Teddy Bridgewater is competing with Drew Lock for the starting gig. As with seemingly all facets of life right now, people are divided in their perspective on Bridgewater. I, for one, am still a big fan. It’s also notable that they have Shamar Stephen and Mike Boone.
This will be our first chance to see the rebuilt offensive line. Christian Darrisaw and Wyatt Davis continue to miss practice, so it’s looking like Minnesota will feature the vets in the opening preseason game. Denver’s defense boasts players like Bradley Chubb, Von Miller, and Shelby Harris, so they’re a handful up front. It’ll also be fascinating to see how many reps the new secondary gets against Denver’s underrated collection of pass catchers.
Game #2: Colts at Vikings, Sat. August 21, 8 p.m.
What to Watch For: Traditionally, the third preseason game is the dress rehearsal for Week 1. The smart money rests on Game #2 taking over as the preseason’s most important game. We should get a decent look at many of the Minnesota Vikings’ starters, making it perhaps the most notable game in this preseason primer.
The Colts are a well-run organization. HC Frank Reich and GM Chris Ballard give them strong, steady leadership. Unfortunately, they’ve had to endure some tough injuries, first with Carson Wentz and then with Quenton Nelson.
Nyheim Hines and Jonathan Taylor are legit; they both rank among PFF‘s top 10 RBs. Zim’s rebuilt defense will therefore get a good test. I’m particularly interested to see how the defensive line performs, especially with competition so intense at DE. We get to see old friend Xavier Rhodes, who enjoyed a career resurgence last year, and I’ll be watching the iOL closely to see how they handle DeForest Buckner.
Game #3: Vikings at Chiefs, Fri. August 27, 8 p.m.
What to Watch For: Game #3 is likely all about the roster bubble. Players who are either doomed to be cut or on the cusp of being cut will be dominating the snaps in this one.
Anticipate Oli Udoh at RG. Jalyn Holmes, Hercules Mata’afa, and Jordan Brailford will likely all be seeing plenty of snaps at DE. We’ll also likely see rookies like Kene Nwangwu and Camryn Bynum getting plenty of opportunity. This is the last chance for the coaching staff to get game evaluation. Expect them to take advantage.
In terms of a Kansas City connection, it’ll be fascinating to see if Bashaud Breeland gets any playing time. He’s going to be on the roster, so there’s no reason to risk an injury.
Otherwise, I’ll be watching to see where Jake Browning stands at this stage in the offseason. He’s currently looking pretty good, but a lot can change in a month.