The Minnesota Vikings traveled to Seattle to face off against the Seahawks on Thursday, the second week of the preseason. The teams battled twice last season, with Seattle winning both meetings, including a 10-9 victory in the wildcard round of the playoffs. With revenge on their minds, the Vikings were able to come away with the victory. Even though it was a preseason game, the game was well-fought and had plenty of drama.
Teddy Bridgewater, who was seen on the sidelines in full pads but wearing a hat instead of a helmet, was surprisingly inactive for the day. In a brief interview during the game, Teddy admitted there were no injury concerns, but was unable to say why he didn’t play. After the game, head coach Mike Zimmer met with the media but seemed agitated to be answering questions about his franchise quarterback. When he was asked if Teddy was sat because of disciplinary reasons, Zimmer said:
“You think there’s disciplinary action with Teddy Bridgewater? He’s like the nicest kid in the history of life.”
Playing without Teddy Bridgewater and Adrian Peterson, the Vikings’ offense was anemic. The offensive line did a good job in pass protection, as they only gave up one sack to an aggressive Seattle defense. The run blocking was suspect for the second straight week, however, as the Vikings were only able to rush for 70 yards on 26 carries (2.7 yards per carry). The Vikings’ top two running backs, Jerick McKinnon and Matt Asiata, combined for only 17 yards on 12 carries (1.4 ypc).
The Vikings fared better on defense, particularly the pass rush, as they only allowed 140 yards through the air while also corralling Seattle’s quarterbacks six times. Unfortunately, the Vikings were unable to stop the Seahawks’ rushing attack, giving up 187 yards on 31 carries (6.0 ypc). With Thomas Rawls out because of injury, the Seahawks’ top two running backs totaled 141 yards on 20 carries (7.0 ypc).
The player of the game was Marcus Sherels. Marcus is a steady presence on special teams, but on Friday he had an opportunity to showcase his playmaking abilities on defense. With the game tied in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, Sherels was able to intercept a Trevone Boykin pass and return it for a touchdown. The pick-six sealed the game and prevented overtime, which was surely appreciated by every player and coach on the field. Adam Thielen was also considered here, as he led the Vikings in receptions and yards.
The player who needs the most improvement was Laquon Treadwell. LT was a non-factor in the passing game, unable to catch a single pass despite being second on the team with four targets. Even though he is a rookie, he will need to show more consistency before he is considered ready to contribute during the regular season. Hopefully Friday’s game was just an abnormality for Treadwell.
The Vikings will finally play in their new stadium on Sunday, as they take on the San Diego Chargers for week three of the preseason. Besides the new stadium, I will be paying attention to the Vikings’ run defense. Through two weeks of the preseason, the Vikings rank 28th in the NFL, allowing 4.7 yards per carry. That figure will have to go way down if the Vikings’ defense wants to be considered elite.