Aug 23, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Jerick McKinnon (31) runs the ball as guard Brandon Fusco (63) blocks during the second half against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium. The Vikings won 30-12. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

5 Good Impressions From The Minnesota Vikings Preseason

The Minnesota Vikings ended the preseason 4-0 and showed a lot of positive things that fans haven’t seen in a while.  With plenty of reasons to be excited about the team going forward, I decided to do a list of some of the things that have me most encouraged about the 2014 regular season.

Here are 5 good impressions from the Minnesota Vikings 2014 preseason:

  1. The Vikings offense secures the football.  Minnesota did something this preseason that they haven’t done in a long time: they won the the turnover differential.  Ending the year with five more takeaways than giveaways, this could signal the start of a whole new kind of football team in Minnesota.  For a team that ended last year with a turnover differential of -12, taking care of the ball is something that would be reassuring to Vikings fans.
  2. Aug 8, 2014; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings defensive end Everson Griffen (97) gets ready to play the Oakland Raiders at TCF Bank Stadium. Vikings win 10-6. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

    Everson Griffen looks like a stud.  If the preseason as any judge of how Everson Griffen will perform for the Minnesota Vikings this year, the team has gotten themselves an absolute stud this year.  He ended the preseason as the 3rd best 4-3 defensive end according to Pro Football Focus and should have really impressed a lot of the folks he think he was severely overpaid with his contract extension this year.  He enters his first year as a full time starter and could really be a monster if he lives up to his potential.

  3. Mike Zimmer is an aggressive coach.  Compared to the Leslie Frazier era, Zimmer looks like a defensive guru.  His system of showing or executing blitzes has left opposing offenses confused and often times laying on their backs.  Mike Zimmer has a proven track record of success turning around defenses in the NFL, so there no reason to believe he can’t do the same in Minnesota.
  4. The run game will be solid.  While the offensive line have struggled in pass protection, they have completely excelled in run blocking.  Most notably, right guard Brandon Fusco has really shined this year while making holes for running backs.  The combination of him and Phil Loadholt make a more than formidable run blocking unit.  Adrian Peterson may not have seen preseason snaps, but he’ll benefit heavily from this offensive line’s run blocking.
  5. Minnesota has already started a new winning tradition.  While preseason wins mean absolutely nothing in the scheme of things, they do provide a team that struggled mightily last year to end up on the good side of the scoreboard a bit of hope.  The Minnesota Vikings only won 5 games last year but look to be headed in a new direction after showing that they know how to win in the clutch and hold a lead at the end of a game.

Overall, this looks to be a completely different Minnesota Vikings team from what we’ve seen in the past.  The days of assuming the team would blow a lead in the 4th quarter could be gone.  This Minnesota Vikings team can accomplish a lot of the things if they can successfully instill many of the things they instilled this preseason.

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Tags: Adrian Peterson Brandon Fusco Everson Griffen Mike Zimmer Minnesota Vikings Phil Loadholt

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