Minnesota Vikings vs Raiders: Preseason game review

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The Good

Aug 22, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Charles Johnson (12) celebrates his touchdown with tight end Kyle Rudolph (82) in the second quarter of the game with the Oakland Raiders at TCF Bank Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

  1. T.J. Clemmings looks like an NFL offensive tackle already.  He was thrust into action following a season ending injury to right tackle Phil Loadholt, but Clemmings is already pulling his weight.  He isn’t quite the bruiser that Phil Loadholt is, but he kept Teddy Bridgewater clean all day.  And that’s saying a lot for a rookie.  (zero sacks allowed)
  2. Charles Johnson keeps showing why he’s a capable NFL starter.  It’s amazing how far this kid has come.  From 7th round draft pick to bouncing around the league to three different teams, Johnson seems to understand what it takes to succeed in the NFL.  The Minnesota Vikings sure got a gem when they nabbed him from Cleveland’s practice squad.  (4 catches for 40 yards, 1 touchdown)
  3. The return of Anthony Barr.  It was great to see him on the field again.  I know that I am really pushing the impact that his presence can have on this team, but I really feel like he is a cornerstone of this franchise now.  Watching him join Eric Kendricks on the field felt really good, as the two former UCLA linebackers were swarming all over the field.  (1 tackle, 1 pass defense)
  4. Josh Thomas making big plays.  Some Minnesota Vikings fans are probably saying “Who?” right now, but they probably didn’t watch the game last night.  Thomas made two huge plays last night, one was a big tackle for a loss and the second was the interception that put the nail in the coffin.  For a guy that was just a depth signing, he’s making some noise.  (6 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass defended)
  5. No season ending injuries!  Hooray!  This is by far the most important thing about preseason games.  Having that first team stay healthy is essential in preparing for the season and limiting the time that the starters stay in the game lowers those chances of injury.  Following the Phil Loadholt injury last week, no bad news is great news, in my opinion…although I was pretty sure that Chase Ford was going to end up getting injured this game with the hits he kept on taking to the head.

Next: The Bad