The Vikings broke training camp on Thursday and headed to Buffalo for their second preseason game. By the time the team returned to Minnesota early Saturday morning, we learned a little bit more about what’s working well and what needs improvement with the regular season roughly three weeks from beginning.
Here’s a look at five takeaways from Friday night’s loss in Buffalo…
Offense Must Improve vs. Quarterback Pressure
From his first snap of the game to his last, Vikings quarterback
Impressive Night for
Last season the Vikings drafted a kicker and watched the rookie have an impressive season. Is the team due for a similar performance from their rookie punter this year? Through the offseason program, training camp and now two preseason games, the answer looks to be a resounding “yes.” Locke had another impressive showing on Friday night, hoisting up seven punts for a gross average of 48.9 and a net average of 39.7. More importantly, though, Locke landed three of his punts inside the 11 and two of them inside the 5. Also, five of the seven punts were returned for 10 yards or fewer.
Too Many Center-Quarterback Exchange Issues
It’s the preseason, so this is where mistakes can be made. But it’s never fun to watch center-quarterback exchange issues. The first item on every Vikings practice schedule is center-quarterback exchange. It’s such a simple process that we take it for granted far too often. The Vikings had two bad exchanges on Friday night, with
First Team Secondary Looks Improved
The Vikings have added significant young talent to the secondary the last couple years, and it’s starting to show in how the entire group is performing.
An unlikely candidate has emerged in the battle for punt return duties, and his name is Bobby Felder. The one-year veteran out of Nicholls State is a bubble guy in the defensive back group, but he’s actually had a nice camp in Mankato and always seems to be around the ball. And now he’s displayed some return ability, with three punt returns on Friday night for 62 yards, including a 37-yard return late in the game that gave the Vikings an opportunity to put together a game-winning drive. That didn’t happen, but Felder’s effort should be noted. It should also be noted that Felder had another long return of 21 yards earlier in the game, he down both of Locke’s punts inside the 5 and he finished the game tied for second on the team with six tackles. It was a nice night for Felder.