Top 5 takeaways from the Minnesota Vikings preseason opener

(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook
(Photo by Brett Carlsen/Getty Images) Dalvin Cook /
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The Offensive Line Remains A Work In Progress

My takeaway of the week may not be the sexiest but it is probably the most important if the Vikings are to have a successful season. Last year the Minnesota Vikings offensive line was undoubtedly its Achilles heel, costing them several victories and ultimately their playoff chances.

Tuning into Thursday’s game I was eagerly anticipating watching the reinforced offensive line perform as an impenetrable bulldozing juggernaut. Unfortunately my expectations weren’t met, the line performed indifferently and I got the impression that the coaching staff are still trying to figure out their best 5 lineman.

The Vikings were without expensive new addition Riley Reiff at left tackle due to a back injury but when the remainder of the starters were on the field the Minnesota Vikings struggled in pass protection. On the first series Rookie Eddie Yarbrough blew past Mike Remmers with ease, causing worrying flashbacks to Superbowl 50. You can check out the offending play below if you wish to relive the nightmare.

A series later a miscommunication between Rashod Hill (filling in for Reiff) and left guard Alex Boone allowed Jerry Hughes to knife round the edge with ease and find himself one on one with rookie running back Dalvin Cook. In that battle there was always going to be one winner and Bradford soon found himself eating turf once again.

Apart from those 2 plays the offensive line looked OK. Alex Boone wiped out a Dalvin Cook reception and run on a screen pass with a holding call but generally the run blocking was fine, although I got the impression that Cook will make them look better than they actually are.

The majority of the backups fared well, only allowing a single sack and a handful of quarterback hits whilst assisting a plodding ground game. Two rookies made positives impressions. Danny Isidora made a nice block on a screen pass and Pat Elflein looked like the mauler we all hoped he would be in the run game.

Are the sacks worrying? Sure.

Will the run blocking hamper Cook’s impact in his rookie season? Maybe.

Next: Vikings' Madden 18 Ratings

I cannot stress enough that we have only seen 2  preseason series and the Minnesota Vikings haven’t fielded their best 5 lineman yet, the coaches may not even know who they are. The only certainty is that the line remains in flux, I for one will be watching closely for any signs of progress.