Quick takeaways from the Vikings 3rd preseason game vs. San Diego Chargers

• Christian Ponder’s performance did not discourage me, but he clearly missed Jerome Simpson. Percy Harvin and Devin Aromashodu both made a couple of pretty good catches, but this group of receivers is clearly not where it needs to be.
• The run defense doesn’t seem to be as much of a liability as it looked in the first week of the preseason. But that needs to be taken with a grain of salt with Ryan Matthews not in the game for the Chargers. Haven’t seen much out of Letroy Guion because of his injury, but at this point I would call him the weakest link on the defense.
• Jasper Brinkley looked solid. He had 2 sacks of his own and forced a guy into a Jared Allen sack as well, looks like he could be the answer in the middle, for now. I’m encouraged by the linebackers as a group. Erin Henderson’s battle for time with Marvin Mitchell just shows that there is more depth there than expected at the beginning of the preseason.
• Jarius Wright is streaky in the return game. The one time he actually returned the ball, he took it for 24 yards. But the problem is, he has trouble fielding the punts. Looks like Marcus Sherels won’t be losing his return job after all.
• Chris Kluwe may be the NFL’s best punter.
• There is not much separation in the race for the third RB spot, but I would give a slight edge to Matt Asiata. All three of the Vikings backup RBs fumbled the ball away, but Asiata ran much stronger and actually got into the endzone. Being converted from a fullback, he’s got some power to him, which would certainly be useful in some goal line situations. He’ll have to have a good game next week and he could have the job locked up.
• The group of TEs looks very deep. Kyle Rudolph and John Carlson will be the starters without question, but Mickey Schuler, Allen Reisner and Rhett Ellison have all shown flashes throughout the preseason. This could end up being the team’s strongest position group and I would not be surprised to see 4 TEs on the 53-man roster.
• Overall, the team did not impress me, but I recognize that it’s only preseason. The first string offense could not get in the endzone against a lot of second teamers. The defense only allowed field goals—even though it was second stringers all game—and that is encouraging.
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