News | Minnesota Vikings – vikings.com

Notebook: Mother Nature, Father Time

MINNEAPOLIS — Teddy Bridgewater beat Mother Nature, and Shaun Hill took it to Father Time in beating the clock.

The Vikings first and second string quarterbacks continued their strong starts to the preseason by each leading touchdown drives, and Vikings reserves finished off the Raiders 20-12 on a stormy Saturday night at the University of Minnesota that included a lightning delay of more than an hour and 17 mph winds with stronger gusts.

Bridgewater completed his final seven attempts of the night, capping the effort with a perfect toss that required concentration by Charles Johnson, who fought through contact from D.J. Hayden, stretched his arms and secured the 10-yarder on a timing route.

"It's something we do routinely in practice that translated to the field. That's what you expect to see," said Johnson, who added he's encountered tighter coverage in practices.

Bridgewater said Johnson, who had four catches for 40 yards, "came up big for us" and made the TD catch "with the defensive back all over his shoulders."

"Charles continues to make plays. He catches the ball, he runs good routes," Head Coach Mike Zimmer said. "The touchdown that he caught, I thought the guy was grabbing the heck out of him along the way, but Charles is a big, strong receiver that has good speed, and I think they're developing a pretty good camaraderie between them."

The Vikings had outscored previous 2015 preseason foes 40-19 with Johnson and Mike Wallace having combined for three yards on two catches. Starters could play more at Dallas next Saturday, though.

"I know I spoke with [Offensive Coordinator] Norv [Turner] at the beginning of the week, and he talked about getting me more involved, just so we can get things rolling," Johnson said. "We know there's limited snaps for us out there and we want to give everybody some touches, so it will all come together. Our main focus is winning games and trying to perform the best we can as a team. The other things will come."

Bridgewater finished 10-of-14 passing (71.4 percent complete) for 89 yards and a passer rating of 111.9 on the night and is now 22-for-28 (78.6 percent complete) with 219 yards and a rating of 111.2.

He also showed pocket awareness and mobility, scrambling for a 4-yard gain to convert a third down three plays before roaming to his right and firing back across to an open Jerick McKinnon, who had three receptions for 27 yards. The touchdown drive ended early in the second quarter and tied the game at six.

Bridgewater, 22, then passed the torch to Hill, 35. The veteran was in his second series when severe storms moved through the area, and lightning sent both teams to their locker rooms and cause the stadium bowl to be cleared of devout fans for more than an hour.

The Vikings suffered an interception on a wrong route, and former Vikings QB Christian Ponder led the Raiders on a drive that ended with a field goal for a 9-6 lead with 2:07 left in the first half.

Hill smoothly responded with catches from Chase Ford, Cordarrelle Patterson, Matt Asiata and Adam Thielen to move 80 yards in 1:59. Ford capped it with a gritty over-the-middle route for a 4-yard TD. It marked the third time the Vikings have trailed during the preseason and responded with an immediate touchdown drive.

"I really didn't know when he scrambled out of the pocket," McKinnon said. "I kind of saw him give me a little look and he made a great throw across his body. I was open and caught the ball and got a first down. I think that just shows the ability Teddy has to have that awareness and vision while scrambling out of the pocket."

Pick a pair: The Vikings recorded two interceptions in the second half to put away the game.

Linebacker Brian Peters dropped into zone coverage and was opportunistic when the ball came his way. He returned it 21 yards to the Oakland 1, giving a piggy back ride for about the final 10 yards.

"I was dropping where I was supposed to be and he was kind of eyeing right where I was," Peters said. "I think he got some pressure and just chucked it, threw it a little bit low and outside for me and was focusing on catching it, then getting up and running.

"It made for an interesting dynamic. You've just got to control your mindset and control your focus," Peters said. "Chad [Greenway] gave us some good advice, just to lock in and focus, plug your headphones in, for the guys that still have to go play, treat it like it's the beginning of the game. I did that, plugged my headphones in and locked in and got ready to play."

Barr returns: Anthony Barr returned to action for the first time since Nov. 30 against the Carolina Panthers. Zimmer said he didn't watch Barr much during the game, but the team did opt to blitz the versatile linebacker "once or twice to just kind of get his feet wet."

"Formation recognition and trying to understand what the offense is trying to do in that situation," Barr said. "The ball is coming out quick, so I shortened my rush and got my arms up."

Barr's knockdown was one of five passes defensed by the Vikings. Other passes were broken up by CB Josh Thomas, DE Justin Trattou, CB Trae Waynes and Peters.

Sack pack: Trattou and Michael Mauti each recorded sacks, which also count as tackles for loss and were joined in the TFL category by Thomas, Edmond Robinson, Captain Munnerlyn and Brandon Watts.

OK with delay?:Greenway said he remembered one game during his college career that had a long delay before the start, but couldn't remember one in the pros. The upside for him, however, was that, because the teams remained on the field during the four-minute halftime, he was able to see his 5-year-old daughter, Beckett, in the Junior Cheerleaders performance, instead of being in the locker room for the break. Greenway's oldest daughter sounded the Gjallarhorn at the start of the game.

"That was great, a once-in-a-lifetime experience for her, something she'll always remember," My 5-year-old daughter, Beckett, was in the cheerleading performance at halftime as well, so it was a cool thing for all of them, but for Maddyn to be able to blow the horn was really awesome.

Back in Minnesota: In addition to former Vikings players Ponder, J'Marcus Webb, Donald Penn and Andre Holmes, the game marked the return to Minnesota of Raiders Head Coach Jack Del Rio (Vikings LB 1992-95), offensive line coach Mike Tice (Vikings assistant coach 1996-2001 and head coach 2001-05), offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave (same role with Vikings 2011-13) and QBs coach Todd Downing (assistant 2001-05).

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Advertising