Minnesota Vikings vs Buccaneers: Preseason game review

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The Bad

Oct 26, 2014; Tampa, FL, USA; Minnesota Vikings tackle

Phil Loadholt

(71) walks on the sidelines against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Manning-USA TODAY Sports

  1. Phil Loadholt’s season ending Achilles Tendon tear.  Nothing puts a damper on a preseason game like an injury.  Minnesota was set to look pretty solid on the offensive line, but Big Phil’s injury is really a disappointing start to the season.  However, the Minnesota Vikings are not strangers to dealing with o-line injuries.
  2. Zach Line’s blocking.  I know it’s hard to rip on a guy who scored a touchdown in the game, but Line didn’t do much this game to warrant keeping him as a blocking specialist over other guys that could do the job as well as play other positions.  He’ll need to bounce back in a big way to prove his worthiness of a roster spot.
  3. Praise for catching a football.  I have to admit, I’ve been watching the safety competition pretty closely.  I felt that if a youngster stepped up that he could take the job from Robert Blanton.  Antone Exum is one of those guys in consideration.  Although he had an interception that was thrown right to him, he was otherwise invisible.  Darn those misleading stats!
  4. The Minnesota Vikings front line run defense.  With the exception of Mike James, every single Buccaneers running back had 3.5 yards per carry or more.  While that isn’t good, the positive thing is that they didn’t allow a running back to have a carry more than 11 yards.  Charles Sims seemed the most effective, averaging 5.5 yards per carry.
  5. Ball security.  You can only put the ball on the ground so many times before it’s a problem.  Dominique Williams, Zach Line, and Joe Banyard all found themselves losing a fumble, one of which bounced in to the end zone for a touchback that could have instead gave the Vikings the ball VERY close to the end zone.  Luckily, none of those guys should be contending for major touches during the 2015 season.

Next: The Confusing