The Vikings just defeated the Houston Texans 28-0 in our final preseason game. Without further delay, here’s the stock report…
Awasom has finished his awesome preseason by making a strong statement on why he belongs on the team. He had 3 tackles, two of which were sacks and the other was for a loss. His best play was blowing by tackle Pete Hendrickson to sack TJ Yates and end a Texans drive. If the Vikings hope to sneak him onto the practice squad plan on another team claiming him in search of a quality defensive end.
King played a solid game tonight for only being with the team a few days. He demonstrated excellent patience waiting for running lanes to develop, made cuts after the line of scrimmage and also was not afraid of contact dragging tacklers. 2 TDs ain’t a bad debut either even if it’s a preseason game. Unfortunately for King, running back is the one position we don’t have a need for. Maybe he sneaks onto the practice squad and we see him down the road.
Raymond missed the Vikings first preseason game with injury, however also has come on strong to finish the preseason. What makes him an interesting case to make the roster is he can play both safety positions. He looked okay tonight covering receivers in a physical manner and displaying above average passing skills. With Tyrell Johnson dropping another easy interceptions, Raymond only looks better. Johnson wouldn’t be a surprise cut, would he?
Ponder said towards the end of the game that this was his best preseason game. That’s 100% true. He went 10 of 17 for 83 yards, 1 TD and also ran for 61 yards. The problem was he looked lost when taking 3 and 5 step drops and made plays moving his feet. Nothing wrong having a mobile QB, but Michael Vick he’ll never be and at some point has to make the majority of throws in the pocket after going thru his reads. It’s naive to think several of those runs wouldn’t have been tackles for loss had we gone against the Texans 1st team D with the likes of Mario Williams and Brian Cushing. Ponder didn’t do enough to separate himself from Joe Webb tonight (who was 5-6 for 43 yards) on claiming the backup duties.
Fusco had a nice block on Alexander Robinson’s TD, however we’ll remember him for two bonehead penalties. His chances of making the roster behind John Sullivan and Jon Cooper are not good.
Allen didn’t play tonight due to injury, but his chances of making the roster took a major hit. Brandon Burton displayed excellent coverage skills coming down with an interception and Marcus Sherels was active in coverage. Scout.com’s Tim Yotter thinks that the Vikings could place Allen on the PUP and go with Burton/Sherels as a stopgap than make a decision in October.
Any “Bubble” Wide Receiver
We mentioned earlier today that the Vikings would have some battles at wide receiver for the 4th, 5th and maybe 6th spot on the team and no one stepped forward with an “I refused to be cut” attitude. Jaymar Johnson led the team in receiving with 2 catches and 28 yards, but is that really worth writing about? To guess now the Vikings keep 5 WRs… Percy Harvin, Bernard Berrian, Michael Jenkins, Devin Aromashodu and Emmanuel Arceneaux.
Then again, we’ll know soon enough who makes the team and who doesn’t. That’s it for tonight. And that’s it for preseason.
Jon Merckle may be followed on Twitter @thevikingpig