After a 27-13 lost in the preseason opener to the Houston Texans, the Minnesota Vikings will look to bounce back tonight as the go on the road to face the Buffalo Bills. These two teams met last preseason and it was a very good meeting for the Vikings. Defeating the Bills 36-14.
What to expect from the Minnesota Vikings tonight:
1. We will be seeing more of the first team offense and defense in tonight’s game; I even expect a full first quarter of play from the starters.
3. Look for the Vikings Rookies will continue showing their talents tonight. running back Bradley Randle, punter Jeff Locke, linebacker Michael Mauti, Gerald Hodges, first round picks Cordarrelle Patterson and Xavier Rhodes will all get valuable playing time.
Three Players to watch for:
1. The wait is over for linebacker Desmond Bishop to step on to the field as a Viking. It will be exciting to watch Bishop tonight as he return’s to field after missing the entire last season. After the departure of Jasper Brinkly, Bishop was brought in to serve as a new starting linebacker for the Vikings. When healthy,Bishop is a solid player on the defense side of the ball and is a valuable upgrade to the Vikings linebacker core. Chad Greenway, Erin Henderson and Desmond Bishop could be one of the most under-rated line-backing core in the NFL this season.
2. It’s still a work in progress for both Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder. Last week both quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Christian Ponder threw for interceptions. For Cassel it was getting pressured to throwing a bad pass, which could have just been thrown out-of-bounds. Other than that Cassel performance shows us he is a very reliable back-up QB. As for Ponder it was his lack as accuracy to hit Jerome Simpson across middle, which lead to the ball going off Simpsons hands into the arms of a Texan’s defender. I’m looking to see how both Cassel and Ponder improve upon those un-costly turnovers.
3. No more Antoine Winfield puts more pressure on the defensive backs. We will see first time action from rookie Xavier Rhodes tonight after missing the week one preseason opener. Rhodes size and skill set matches up with today’s NFL “not only big but strong” receivers. Along with Rhodes the Vikings will look for production from Chris Cook, Josh Robinson and AJ Jefferson. It will be fun to see for the rest of preseason how the young and talented Viking corners, come along as they get ready for a season full of pass-happy quarterbacks Matt Stafford, Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers.
Other Notes: For the Bills, there is still a Quarterback job up for grabs. Watch for Kevin Kolb and EJ Manuel to have equal amount of snaps in tonight’s game. Also be on the look for a Mario Williams and Matt Kahlil match up early on. Last week Super Mario showed us that he is more comfortable after a full season under the Bills new defense of system.
Bills - WR Stevie Johnson Hamstring (Doubtful) and DB Leodis McKelvin Groin (Out)