2015 Vikings notes from the Hall of Fame game By Joel Schafer

 

stefon-diggsmycoletraeteddyThe Vikings got the short end of the stick when it came to preseason scheduling by having to play five games in the preseason. As if four games weren’t enough for every fan base. The Steelers also got stuck with this honor. What was to be learned from this game?

Very few  starters from  both teams played  in this  game. All the big guns from Pittsburgh  didn’t play.  Many of the defensive key components for the Vikings were left on the sideline Smith, Greenway, Griffin, and Robison and of course Adrian Peterson did not play. Bridgewater, Johnson, Rudolph  and newcomer Mike Wallace saw one series of action against a second team defense for the most part.

Teddy looked very sharp, as he should, in his only series he went 5 for 6 for 44 yards in the air with one scramble for 6 yards. His only miss was to Wallace. If Wallace could have picked up the misfire from Teddy, it would have went for 6. Bridgewater completed passes to 5  different receivers on his completions. Look for this trend to continue throughout his career.  Backup Jerick McKinnon had 2 carries for 2 yards including getting stuffed on a fourth down. The bright spot was on his lone reception and how he finished off his run and a corner-back at the boundary.

The Defense looked very good against the second, third and bubble players of the Steelers.  Backup Landry Jones played the whole games and was a miserable 15 for 32 for 128 yards, while the running game never got going for them rushing for a mere 68 yards. Shamar Stephan lead the defense in tackles with 5 solo tackle (1 sack) and a QB hit.  Stephen will get a good share of rotational snaps in the middle spelling Linval Joseph or Shariff Floyd.

First round pick Trae Waynes  looked overwhelmed at times including completely whiffing on Archer in the open field. He had the laundry thrown his way 3 times. This was his first taste of the NFL game, teams will test the kid until he prove he can cover and support in the run game. It was also curious that Captain Munnerlyn  didn’t see a single play on the field. He seems to either be in the Zimmer doghouse or on his way out the door. If he ends up not on the roster, it could prove to be a big mistake. Munnerlyn won’t have a bad season like last year and he will prove that. Former first round pick Cordarrelle Patterson may make the team as a special-teamer, he needs to show the electric side of his game or he will be out. He just isn’t cutting it as a receiver.

Marcus Sherels may be out the door and replaced by Stefon Diggs in the punt game. Diggs was electric on his only putt return of 66 yards down to the one yard line. Skol nation may have found the Kyle Rudolph injury insurance plan in Mycole Pruitt, whom hauled in all 4 of his targets for 51 yards and a score. Finally, Matt Kahlil looked good and healthy. It is a contract year for him so expect him to revert back to what got him into the league.