Following Week 3 of preseason matchups, NFL.com handed out performance grades for one key player from each team.
Stefon Diggs was the pegged player from the Vikings, and he received the highest grade in the division with an A-minus. NFL Media analyst Bucky Brooks wrote the following on Diggs:
The Vikings' WR1 remains the team's biggest playmaker in the passing game. Diggs is not only an outstanding route runner with terrific ball skills, but he is an explosive catch-and-run specialist capable of scoring from anywhere on the field. He showcased his dynamic skills in a five-catch, 71-yard effort against the Chargers that included a ballerina-like toe tap on the boundary on a 22-yard reception. As opponents begin to focus on taking away rookie Laquon Treadwell on the perimeter, Diggs will continue to post big numbers as Teddy Bridgewater's top target.
The second-highest grade in the NFC North was a B-plus, handed to Lions center Travis Swanson. Brooks said Swanson was outstanding in Detroit's game against the Ravens.
Swanson dominated his one-on-one battles at the point of attack, displaying explosive strength and power against the Ravens. In addition, he showed great awareness picking up stunts, games and blitzes in pass protection. Swanson has made tremendous strides since entering the NFL, and it showed in Baltimore.
Brooks gave B grades to Bears safety Harold Jones-Quartey and Packers linebacker Datone Jones, entering his fourth year in the league.
Goessling: Vikings impressed in takedown of Chargers
Following Minnesota's 23-10 win over San Diego on Sunday, ESPN's Ben Goessling put together some observations from the game, including Bridgewater's first-half performance. Goessling said he doesn't expect Bridgewater to play in the Vikings fourth preseason game Thursday but his performance against the Chargers "suggested he's ready for the regular season."
Goessling also commented on Jerick McKinnon's ability to play a "big role" in the Vikings offense. He wrote:
He flashed his impressive speed and some nice moves on a nifty, 35-yard run, finishing with 63 rushing and receiving yards on nine touches. If something were to happen to Adrian Peterson, the Vikings would have a solid option in McKinnon – and as long as Peterson's healthy, they'll be able to use McKinnon in different ways.
Across the board, Goessling felt the Vikings played well against the Chargers.
*Defensively, the Vikings allowed Melvin Gordon's 39-yard touchdown run after missing him on a blitz and gave up Rivers' 25-yard pass to Danny Woodhead. But the unit largely limited the Chargers' big plays. *
He described Minnesota's offense as impressive, although he said there's room for improvement in the red zone.
View exclusive images shot by the team photographer (IG: vikingsphotog) from the Aug. 28 game against the Chargers.