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Vikings 1st-Team Offense Makes Preseason Progress in Seattle

SEATTLE —If the preseason is designed for teams to show progress from week to week, the Vikings offense certainly achieved its mission Friday night.

A week after Minnesota's first-team offense mustered just 34 yards on total offense in three series against the Bills, the Vikings gained 123 yards against Seattle in the same number of series.

Two key pieces of Minnesota's offense said the performance was a step in the right direction.

"We came out and executed. We came out and played better than we did last week," said Vikings wide receiver Stefon Diggs said. "We played a lot longer than we played last week, too, so it's good to be out there for a while, get in a rhythm."

Added Vikings quarterback Sam Bradford: "Obviously you want to go out there and you want to play great every time you step on the field. You know, I think from last week to this week we definitely made some progress, though, and I think we're going in the right direction."

Diggs and Bradford had a strong rapport all night as the wide receiver led the team with four catches for 65 yards. The biggest chunk of his production came on Minnesota's first series as Diggs and Bradford connected on a 39-yard gain down the left sideline.

"You know, honestly it was a play that we've probably had in for a while but haven't run it and decided to run it tonight," Bradford said. "And it worked. Obviously Diggs did a really nice job of just kind of feeling the soft spot once he kind of got in there to that second level.

"The protection was great," added Bradford, who went 7-of-11 for 95 yards. "We were able to kind of create a big play right there." 

The Vikings settled for a field goal on their opening drive but picked up 76 yards of offense against a Seattle defense that has been among the league's best over the past few seasons. Minnesota had two penalties in the red zone before the field goal.

"Obviously it was nice to come out and move the ball on that first drive the way we did," Bradford said. "Then the two negative plays kind of set us back, which was something that was a little disappointing, given the fact that it's been a point of emphasis of ours in the offseason.

"I think there were some positives," Bradford added. "We'll go back and look at the tape and see exactly what went on out there, but there's definitely some things that we can build on." 

Vikings rookie running back Dalvin Cook also showcased his skills by gaining 50 yards on eight touches. The second-round pick had seven carries for 40 yards and a reception for 10 yards.

Cook's best sequence on the ground came when he tallied 33 yards on three straight carries during Minnesota's second drive.

"We just have to keep attacking the defense," Cook said. "We're getting more comfortable in what we're doing.

"It definitely felt good breaking a long run," Cook added about his 15-yard gain at the end of the first quarter. "It gives the O-line some confidence and (helps us) establish ourselves early."

Added Bradford: "It was awesome [to see Dalvin]. We've seen it all camp, just what he's been able to do. I think we all know how talented he is, but for him to be able to do that tonight, he was close to breaking a few for some really long runs. Even what he was able to do tonight, it was great to see."

The Vikings will resume preseason play on Aug. 27 at U.S. Bank Stadium against the San Francisco 49ers.

Bradford said it's a chance for his unit to keep making progress.

"Obviously the third preseason game is usually kind of the most 'real,' or it's kind of your dress rehearsal before the regular season," Bradford said. "I think to get out there next week and get some extended action, get into a rhythm, go out there and put a few things together.

"I'm not sure what our week will be this week, but if we do have a game plan, it will be nice to kind of jump into a game plan and hit the film a little bit more over the week," he added. "And then go out there and put it on the field."

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