The Vikings brought their preseason to a close Thursday night, beating the Broncos 31-24 in a game that can only be described as a gigantic mess.
Like turnovers? The Vikes and Broncos combined for 6. Like penalties? The two teams were flagged a total of 16 times.
Like questionable quarterback play? Tarvaris Jackson went 2-8 for two yards. On the plus side, after starting 0-6, he completed two straight passes.
Then Sage Rosenfels came in and went 1-4 for a whopping 10 yards. In mop-up duty, Joe Webb went 5-9 for 100 yards, 1 TD and 1 pick, and ran 4 times for a game-high 48 yards.
Looking at those stats, it’s kind of hard to figure how the Vikings managed 31 points. Well, the answer is simple. It was the defense.
Actually, it was the takeaways. The Vikes turned Denver over 4 times, forcing 3 fumbles and picking off one pass. The biggest defensive play came when Tim Tebow fumbled the exchange from center, the ball went straight to Erin Henderson and E.J.’s brother scooped it up and ran it in for a touchdown.
The one Vikings pick also came courtesy of Tebow. In between turnovers, Tebow occasionally looked like an NFL quarterback. Which is more than one can say for Tarvaris Jackson, who wound up being booed by the home crowd after his sixth straight incompletion.
Brad Childress reacted to T-Jack’s dismal performance by reconfirming Jackson’s status as the #2 quarterback. Sage Rosenfels, as far as we know, remains on the trading block.
With preseason now over, the next big date is Sept. 4, the day teams must trim their rosters to 53. TVA contributor Jon Merckle has already given his roster projection. Given the somewhat dire depth situation at the position, look for the Vikings to either swing a trade for a corner in the next couple of days or snap up the first decent one that goes on waivers.
We are now less than one week away from the start of the regular season. It is going to be a wild next five months. Hopefully there will be a lot of winning involved.