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Vikings Offense, Defense Look Good Early In Win

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 20, 2011 – 10:26 pm

The defense took care of the 1st quarter and the offense handled much of the 2nd quarter as the Vikings built up a 13-0 lead through the first half of Saturday night’s preseason game against the Seahawks in Seattle and went on to win by a 20-7 score.

Seattle’s offense, featuring former Vikings QB Tarvaris Jackson and WR Sidney Rice, was on the field for 13 minutes in the 1st quarter, yet they were unable to muster any points. It was the Vikings defense that scored a TD, in fact, as CB Marcus Sherels picked off a deflected pass from Jackson and returned it 64 yards for the score.

The 2nd quarter was a much different story and it was the Vikings offense that hogged the ball early. QB Donovan McNabb led the Vikings on an 81-yard drive in 13 plays that consumed over 7 minutes and began on their own goal line after an impressive stand by the second-team defense. McNabb hit new WR Michael Jenkins for 21 yards on the drive, but eventually the offense stalled and Ryan Longwell came on to kick a 36-yard FG.

McNabb was 6 of 8 for 81 yards with no TDs or INTs on the night (106.8 passer rating) and RB Adrian Peterson finished with 16 yards on 6 carries and 2 catches for 11 yards. Ponder, who came in after McNabb, was 6 of 12 for 63 yards with no TDs and no INTs.

Late in the fourth quarter and leading 13-7, rookie RB Tristan Davis made the most of his one carry on the night as he scampered 35 yards to ice the game for the Vikings, who moved to 1-1 on the preseason with the victory.

Next up for the Vikings are the Dallas Cowboys, who make their way to Mall of America Field on Saturday.


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Vikings, VEN Up For Five Regional Emmys

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on August 20, 2011 – 8:36 pm

The Vikings and the Vikings Entertainment Network have been nominated for five regional Emmy awards.

Sports Program: Vikings GamePlan (VEN/Fox Sports North)
TV Host: Paul Allen – Vikings GamePlan (VEN/Fox Sports North)
TV Host: Ann Carroll – Vikings Weekly (VEN/Fox Sports North)
LIVE Sporting Event: Vikings Preseason Football: Seattle Seahawks at Minnesota Vikings 2010 (VEN/PKO Productions)
TV Show Open: Vikings GamePlan (Elite Edge Productions)

The winners will be announced on Saturday, Sept. 24.


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Mr. Hippe’s Weather Report

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 20, 2011 – 7:37 pm

We’re in the Great Northwest for tonight’s preseason contest between the Vikings and Seattle Seahawks. And throughout our trip the weather has indeed been great.

Mr. Hippe checks in tonight with more great weather for the game. He’s calling it mostly sunny with a temperature of 81 degrees and winds out of the south gusting up to 14 miles per hour.

Sounds like a great night for football.


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Join Us For Tonight’s Live Chat

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 20, 2011 – 6:29 pm

As we have for the last few seasons, we’ll be hosting a live game-day chat for each Vikings game. The second chat of the year will be tonight, beginning around 9:00 p.m. CT as the Vikings and Seahawks square off at CenturyLink Field in Seattle.

Remember, the live chat won’t start until right around kickoff.

To join the chat at kickoff, click here to go to the Vikings Game Day page.


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Harvin, Shiancoe Among Those Out Tonight

Posted by Ryan Cardinal on August 20, 2011 – 6:09 pm

Here are the Vikings inactive players for tonight’s game in Seattle:

WR P. Harvin, CB A. Allen, CB S. Castille, FB M. Asiata, LB K. Onatolu, LB H. Farwell, G A. Herrera, TE V. Shiancoe, WR G. Camarillo, and DE D. Reed.


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5 Things To Watch Tonight

Posted by Mike Wobschall on August 20, 2011 – 10:44 am

The Vikings will play their second game of the 2011 preseason tonight against the Seahawks at CenturyLink Field in downtown Seattle. Here are five things to watch during tonight’s game…

Improvement from Donovan McNabb, first-team offense
While it might not have satisfied the appetite of Vikings fans, the performance from the first-team offense last week was acceptable for a preseason debut. But a similar performance tonight against Seattle in preseason game #2 will not be acceptable. McNabb and Co. need to take a step forward and they appear ready to do that after a solid week of practice. McNabb is cautiously optimistic about the offense’s progress and we’ll find out tonight if that optimism is warranted. No, we shouldn’t look for perfection, but we should expect to see extended drives, minimal penalties, no turnovers, no sacks and maybe even a TD.

Tyrell Johnson’s performance at safety
There’s been great competition at the safety position during training camp, primarily between Johnson and Jamarca Sanford. But we also can’t count out rookie Mistral Raymond, who has put together a great training camp and is opening eyes. Tonight, Johnson will get the start and it’s important that he plays well. Johnson has all the physical tools to be a talented safety in the NFL. He’s also a smart player who understands the Vikings scheme. Now he needs to put it all together at once while he’s on the field, something he hasn’t been able to do consistently. If he can do that, I believe he’ll be the coaching staff’s choice as the starter. If he can’t do that tonight, then I think it’s a wide open race for the starting position among Johnson, Raymond and Sanford.

Who will step up at WR
Both Greg Camarillo and Percy Harvin have been declared out of this game, which means the Vikings coaching staff will get a longer look at a few players who normally wouldn’t see as much action. Both Camarillo and Harvin play primarily in the slot position, so I expect Juaquin Iglesias and Jaymar Johnson will be the guys who get the extra reps tonight. Both are roster bubble guys and both have recently been playing well. Iglesias has looked great in practice while filling in for Camarillo and Harvin. Johnson has worked his tail off to remain on this roster and then last week he ripped off a 40-yard punt return. Other guys who could get a few extra looks tonight in the slot are Manny Arceneaux and Devin Aromashodu – I view Aromashodu as more of an outside receiver but I also think he’s a polished enough receiver that he could play all three of the WR positions in this offense.

Christian Ballard at DT
Ballard’s best trait, in my eyes, is his versatility. He played and started in a lot of games at the University of Iowa at both DE and DT. So far with the Vikings, he’s played primarily at DT behind Kevin Williams at the 3-technique and his best moment of training camp came last week in Tennessee when he notched a sack from the DT position. If Ballard can continue to be a disruptive force tonight – even if it doesn’t result in a sack – it will go a long way toward convincing coaches that he can be a member of the DL rotation this season. It’s uncertain how well Brian Robison will play as the new starter at left DE and it’s uncertain if Williams will be available for the first four games of the regular season, so Ballard’s presence as a disruptive force in the rotation will ease a lot of the uncertainty.

Ryan D’Imperio creating separation at FB
One of my favorite position battles to watch so far during training camp and the preseason is at FB, where D’Imperio entered as the starter and Matt Asiata came in as an undrafted rookie free agent. D’Imperio was a draft pick in 2010 and the Vikings converted him from a college LB to an NFL FB. He spent last season on the practice squad and there’s no questioning the improvement he’s made in one year’s time. Asiata has also impressed, primarily because of his athleticism both in carrying the ball and catching passes out of the backfield. Tonight, though Asiata won’t play because of injury, which means D’Imperio can create more separation with a solid performance.


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