Even more quick thoughts from Minnesota’s loss to Las Vegas
Mond settles down after jittery first half: In his second preseason with the Vikings, quarterback Kellen Mond got off to a bit of a rough start against the Raiders. But he was able to calm his nerves down a bit and he really put together a nice performance.
Mond completed 64.3 percent of his 14 pass attempts on Sunday for 119 yards and two touchdowns. After this first exhibition contest, he should have the edge over Sean Mannion to open the regular season as Minnesota’s No. 2 quarterback behind Kirk Cousins.
Nwangwu looks much improved: Last summer, Vikings running back Kene Nwangwu missed the majority of the preseason after sustaining a knee injury. On Sunday, Nwangwu got a number of opportunities to make plays, and he made the most of his touches.
Minnesota’s second-year running back finished his day with 59 total yards on nine touches. We already know how talented Nwangwu is as a kick returner, but he could end up being an underrated weapon for the Vikings’ offense this season.
Minnesota’s strongest position group is very obvious: We didn’t see Justin Jefferson or Adam Thielen out on the field on Sunday, but the Vikings’ other wide receivers had no problem stepping up in their absence.
Seven different receivers had at least one catch against Las Vegas, including Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Trishton Jackson, Myron Mitchell, and Albert Wilson who hauled in a pair of touchdown passes.
Joseph continued his impressive summer: During the last few weeks of training camp, Minnesota kicker Greg Joseph has been one of the most impressive players on the team’s roster.
Joseph has hit the majority of his kicks in practice this summer and he took his recent success to the field on Sunday. The Vikings kicker made both of his field-goal attempts and both of his extra-point tries against the Raiders.
Joseph’s field-goal attempts weren’t from too far away (20 yards and 23 yards), but he made the kicks he was supposed to, and that’s not something that has always been a guarantee for Minnesota kickers in the past.