The Minnesota Vikings lost their first preseason game in 2022 against the Las Vegas Raiders 26-20. Only so much can be said because it’s a preseason game but there were good things that came out of this loss as well as some bad. 

Three Good Things

  1. Kellen Mond

As Kirk Cousins did not travel with the team this week due to testing positive for COVID, the QB role fell to Sean Mannion and Kellen Mond. Mike Zimmer wasn’t the biggest fan of the 2021 draftee, Kellen Mond. But with the new coaching staff, Mond has another chance to prove himself to be the backup to Cousins and he did a lot to do so in Sunday’s game. 

Mond finished the day 9-14 for 119 yards with two scores and a passer rating of 130.7. Both touchdowns came in the second half of the game. He also had a couple of dimes hitting the receivers perfectly. However, he wasn’t perfect as Mond did struggle some, but the positives outweighed the negatives. What is good is that because he’s fighting for a QB2 spot, Mond probably/hopefully won’t play much this season. However, he is a viable quarterback-of-the-future that may play next year when Cousins’ contract is up. 

2. Harrison Phillips

One of the biggest free agency signings was Phillips for the DT position and he looked dominant in his first outing. Phillips got his first sack with the Vikings when he took down Raiders quarterback Jarrett Stidham in the first quarter.

Phillips finished his outing with three tackles, a sack, and a quarterback hit. Once the team eventually adds the edge-rushing duo of Za’Darius Smith and Danielle Hunter, the defense could be very scary. 

3. Ed Ingram

The position battle for the right guard position is still up in the air. The main competitors for this position are newly signed Jesse Davis and Chris Reed along with rookie Ed Ingram. Ingram stands out over Davis and Reed in pass protection as he only allowed just 11 hurries in 484 pass-blocking snaps at LSU. As the team is heading more towards a passing offensive, Ingram has a lot of upside to start.

In this game, he even looked better than his primary competition, Jesse Davis. He seemingly has more talent and takes over opposing defensive tackles. 

3 Bad Things

  1. Andrew Booth Jr.

Booth started in place of veteran Patrick Peterson and was on the opposite side of Cam Dantzler. Booth finished with two tackles but also committed two penalties for 30 yards on one target. In this play, Booth gave up a 21-yard catch, was flagged for pass interference, and then grabbed a face mask. It’s almost so bad, it doesn’t seem true.

This isn’t that big of a deal, but it was a reminder that he is still only a rookie. Hopefully, it won’t continue to happen when the actual season starts. 

2. Defensive Depth

The men behind the top three corners are somewhat lacking. Parry Nickerson was specifically bad. He was targeted four times and allowed four completions and a touchdown, shown below.

Overall, the Raiders were 19/27 for 160 yards and a touchdown. Hopefully, this won’t be that much of an issue given the starters should be much better. 

3. Offensive Line Issues

Even with Ingram playing well, the Chandler Jones and Maxx Crosby-less defensive line of the Raiders still put pressure on the Vikings and stuffed running back Alexander Mattison. When the second team came in, they started to play better as shown by Ingram’s talent. Bradbury wasn’t bad but wasn’t good either. He needs to step up because he has had some issues. Given the starting OL still didn’t play as well as they should, this could be a long season of issues coming. Let’s hope that they can pick up by the time Green Bay comes around. 

Overall, the good mostly outweighs the bad and this is without a lot of the starting players. While we probably won’t see the full effect of O’Connell’s new schemes until Week 1, this game had a lot of upside. The Vikings play their second preseason game against the 49ers Saturday at U.S. Bank Stadium. The kickoff is slated for 7 p.m. (EDT).

We’ll see what happens the rest of pre-season but make sure to bookmark this site and check back for the latest Vikings news and analysis. Also, follow me on Twitter and feel free to ask me any questions there.


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