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Bleacher Report – Vikings

Who stood out for the Vikings in preseason game 2?

By Matthew Coller

The Minnesota Vikings dropped to 1-1 in the preseason with a 20-13 loss to the Seattle Seahawks on Friday night. Here are the 10 players/position groups that stuck out:

The offensive line

Unlikely Week 1 of the preseason, the Vikings’ offensive line was very good. They kept Sam Bradford from getting sacked and gave him time to throw down the field on multiple occasions. The Vikings’ run blocking was also solid, opening holes for Dalvin Cook in the first quarter.

Minnesota was missing two starters on the left side and filled in with Rashod Hill at tackle and Nick Easton at guard. Rookie Pat Elflein got the start at center, which might indicate that he’s ahead in the competition in the middle. Elflein, Easton and Rashod Hill stayed in for the entire first half. In the second quarter, Danny Isidora and Willie Beavers took played on the right side.

Sam Bradford

The Vikings’ quarterback averaged 8.6 Yards Per Attempt, consistently pushing the ball down the field with accuracy. Bradford looked similar to the way he’s performed during training camp.

Dalvin Cook

After rushing for 13 yards on five carries against Buffalo, the Vikings’ second-round running back flashed some explosiveness, picking up a 15-yard run and back-to-back 9-yard carries on the team’s third series of the game. Not only did he break several big plays, it’s also notable that Cook took most of the starting reps over Jerick McKinnon. He finished with seven runs for 40 yards.

His usage sets up for the third preseason game to be intriguing if Latavius Murray is ready to play. Will Cook still play with the first team? All indicators are that the team is extremely happy with the former Florida State runner’s performance during camp, so it’s possible he could be RB1 this year.

Stefon Diggs

The Vikings’ top wide receiver has been the most impressive player during training camp thus far and carried over his play onto the field in Seattle. Diggs finished with four catches for 65 yards, including a 39-yard reception.

The secondary

Russell Wilson had no problem throwing the ball all over the Vikings’ secondary, picking up 206 yards and tossing two touchdowns. Without Trae Waynes and Andrew Sendejo in the game, Antone Exum and Terence Newman started. When Newman left the game after getting hurt, Marcus Shreles came in and gave up a touchdown pass.

Ben Gedeon

The fourth-round pick from Michigan got the start at weakside linebacker and made several strong plays against the run, finishing with four tackles. It appeared he lost coverage on a tight end, giving up a big play down the middle of the field. Gedeon starting on Friday night could be an indicator that he is in the lead to take over Chad Greenway’s previous over Emmanuel Lamur and Edmond Robinson.

Tashawn Bower

For the second straight game, Bower was one of the most impressive players on the field. He made an immediate impact as soon as he entered the game in the second quarter, then picked up a sack on the first drive of the third quarter. Bower is making more and more of a case for a roster spot despite the Vikings’ depth at the position. Stephen Weatherly also had several successful rushes.

Jaleel Johnson

The Vikings’ fourth-round pick had a coming-out party on Friday night, picking up five tackles and two for loss. Johnson is battling for a job as a backup interior defensive lineman and may have taken the lead for a depth spot with his performance.

Taylor Heinicke

After a disasterous start to his preseason, the third-string QB bounced back going 6-for-9 with 84, one touchdown, one interception. He didn’t come into the game until midway through the fourth, which may indicate that Case Keenum is far ahead in the race for backup quarterback.

Bucky Hodges

We saw the first signs of Bucky Hodges as a downfield threat on Friday night – thought it didn’t come until the late stages of the game. He caught a 33-yard pass and 21-yard touchdown from Heinicke. The fact that Hodges was still in the game late in the fourth points toward him being fourth on the depth chart heading into the final few weeks of preseason.

The post Who stood out for the Vikings in preseason game 2? appeared first on 1500 ESPN Twin Cities.

Source:: 1500 ESPN Sportswire

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