In the team’s first live-game action of 2017, it was the Viking rookies who got the chance to shine in the preseason opener as the Minnesota Vikings were able to hold on to beat the Buffalo Bills 17-10.
Despite the sluggish play around him, rookie running back, Dalvin Cook, gave fans a sneak peek of what he’s capable of as he finished his night with five carries for 13 yards while adding four receptions for 30 more yards. Rookie receiver Stacy Coley flashed in this game as well as he led all Viking players with 67 receiving yards while fellow rookie Rodney Adams had 102 total yards on the night.
Rookies flashed on the defensive side of the ball as well. Rookie linemen, Jaleel Johnson and Tashawn Bower, each picked up a sack in their debuts. Rookie linebacker, Ben Gedeon, had six tackles on the night, only trailing undrafted rookie Eric Wilson.
If this game is any indication, the Vikings may have a rookie class that could pay dividends early for a team looking to contend for the NFC North crown in 2017.
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Case Keenum was the best quarterback on the field tonight as he went 11 of 16 for 121 yards and led the Vikings on their first touchdown drive. He led the team to a field goal in the first half to tie the game at 3-3. If he wasn’t leading the competition for the backup quarterback position before tonight, he likely is now.
Taylor Heinicke play was worrisome to say the least. Even during his touchdown drive, he still made mistakes early in the drive that could’ve been costly. Though he did have some good plays, one has to wonder if his overall play in this game damaged his chances at being the number two quarterback.
Play of the Game
In a game that lacked significant highlight plays, Stacy Coley made one of his 3 catches for 24 yards that set up the Vikings on the Bills’ two-yard line. Coley made a tough sideline catch that was challenged by Buffalo. Upon review, the play stood as called. The Vikings would score on a C.J Ham run on the next play to put the Vikings up 10-3 in the third quarter.
The Vikings will go to Seattle on August 18th in their second preseason to play the Seahawks. These two teams clashed in last year’s preseason as well, with the Vikings coming away with an 18-11 win after Marcus Sherels returned an interception for the winning touchdown.