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Final Thoughts: Opening the Gates at U.S. Bank Stadium for 2018

It’s time to open the gates at U.S. Bank Stadium. The Vikings are set to play their first home game of the season, albeit a preseason contest against the Jacksonville Jaguars. The last time the Vikings played in their home stadium, a miracle happened – the Minneapolis Miracle.

The stakes are different for this particular game. But it will conjure up memories for Vikings fans as they file into the stadium or as they take in the game via radio or television.

Current Vikings quarterback Kirk Cousins was a member of the Washington Redskins at the time of Stefon Diggs’ improbable catch and run for the game-winning touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in the Divisional round. But he was asked this week whether or not he was watching that day.

“I was watching and was blown away, like everyone else, the look on my face was probably similar to Everson Griffen’s or some other guys on the field that night,” Cousins said. “I think, if nothing else, it should galvanize our fan base to be excited for this season and hopefully create many more moments similar to that in the year and the years ahead.”

Cousins has been to U.S. Bank Stadium since signing with the Vikings, but today will be his first game day experience in his home stadium.

“It’s interesting that I’ve been here, for what seems like for a while now, and yet haven’t really played in the stadium, which is what we’re here to do,” Cousins said. “The little bit that I’ve been there, it’s a great facility. I’m just so excited to hear the crowd and go through warmups and just get a feel for the game day dynamic. I’m sure it’s going to be second to none in the NFL.”

Mailbag

We haven’t heard anything on Trae Wayne’s how’s he been looking in mini and training camp?
-- Nick North

Waynes has looked great this offseason and training camp. He took the biggest step of his career going into last season and then during the 2017 season, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see him take a similarly significant step forward in 2018. He’s been under the guidance of Vikings coaching since 2015 and we are truly starting to see the fruits of their labor. His most dominant trait is probably his speed, what he’s improved on the most is probably his confidence level and an underrated part of his game is his tackling ability in the run game, something head coach Mike Zimmer values in his corners.

Fellow cornerback Xavier Rhodes disagrees with me on Waynes’ top trait, though. Here’s what Xavier had to say about Waynes when asked about him earlier this week: “One thing I praise about Trey is that he locates the ball really fast in the air. He gets his head around pretty fast. That’s one thing I believe that Trae is the best at. We all know he’s pretty fast, he’s good at press, but to me, that’s the number one thing I think that Trey is great at. That’s why he doesn’t really get any down the field penalties or anything like that, because he really turns his head around and locates the ball pretty well.”

NFL Game Pass

Out of market? Don’t worry, you’re not out of luck this preseason. You can watch live out-of-market Vikings preseason games and replays of every game online via NFL Game Pass. Click here to start your free seven-day trial.

You can customize your viewing experience with NFL Game Pass. Want more than just the highlights, but don't have time for the full broadcast? Watch a Condensed Game in ~45 minutes. Want to watch tape like the pros with coaches’ film? There’s an all-22 version of the replay, too.

Broadcast Information

TV: FOX 9

Play-by-Play: Paul Allen

Analyst: Pete Bercich

Sideline: Greg Coleman, Ben Leber

Radio: KFAN-FM 100.3/KTLK-AM 1130

Play-by-Play: Paul Allen

Analyst: Pete Bercich

Sideline: Greg Coleman, Ben Leber

Pre-Game Show: Mike Mussman – 10:00 am CT

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