Stay up to date on tonight's preseason opener as the Vikings take on the Steelers in the Hall of Fame game in Canton, Ohio.
9:31: Peters INT changed to fumble recovery
A change to the officials stats was announced in the press box. There was a catch for a gain of 7 yards credited to Pittsburgh and then a fumble with the recovery going to Peters. That is all.
9:19: Two first names, one interception for Brian Peters
A dropped pass by Chase Ford resulted in an INT for the Steelers. But just moments later, Vikings LB Brian Peters answered by intercepting a pass of his own. At the right place in the right time, Peters, a former CFL standout, wrestled a bobbled pass away from the Steelers and gave possession back to the Vikings offense.
9:07: Diggs does it again
Rookie WR Stefon Diggs has been on fire in his first training camp, constructing highlight-reel type performances on a daily basis. After not seeing the field in the 1st half, Diggs has been on the field in the second half and, to the surprise of no one who has watched training camp, he's already making an impact.
After a Tom Johnson sack that ended the previous Steelers drive, Diggs fielded a punt and then dashed through the Steelers punt coverage team for a return of 62 yards. It looked as if Diggs had reached the end zone, but the officials ruled him down on the 1. Mike Zimmer challenged, but the officials upheld the original ruling.
One play later, Taylor Heinicke handed the ball to Joe Banyard and he found a lane to the end zone and put the Vikings up 13-3. Blair Walsh nailed his second 33-yard PAT to make the score 14-3 with 3:57 to play in the 3rd quarter.
9:01: Tom Johnson registers first Vikings sack of preseason
DT Tom Johnson had a career-high 5.5 sacks last season. It won't go in his official stats, but Johnson already has a sack in 2015. Johnson registered the Vikings first sack of the preseason late in the 3rd quarter on a 3rd down to force a Steelers punt that was then returned by rookie Stefon Diggs to the PIT 1.
8:51 - Rookie Reaction
Waynes gets hit with a holding penalty there. No reason to get too worried about this yet. It's going to take some time for him to learn. — Ben Goessling (@GoesslingESPN) August 10, 2015
8:45 - On-Field Look at Pruitt's TD*
8: 30 – Vikings lead 7-3 at halftime
A Mike Kafka-to-MyCole Pruitt 34-yard TD followed by a four-down goal line stand for the Vikings defense paced the Vikings to a 7-3 halftime lead in tonight's preseason opener.
Teddy Bridgewater started the game and did so sharply, exiting after going 5 of 6 for 44 yards with a 6-yard rush, as well. Kafka replaced him, and finished the half going 7 of 10 for 66 yards with the TD.
Matt Asiata is the Vikings leading rusher with 30 yards on 6 carries, including an 18-yarder where he broke several tackles after using key blocks from Pruitt and Jarius Wright on the outside.
On defense, LB Audie Cole has a forced fumble that was recovered by Antone Exum and returned 27 yards.
8:08 – MyCole Pruitt scores first TD
And the Vikings are on the board! After QB Mike Kafka and WR Adam Thielen hooked up for consecutive 3rd down conversions, Kafka found rookie TE MyCole Pruitt for a 34-yard TD to give the Vikings a 6-3 lead. Blair Walsh then came on and nailed the PAT, which is the first of the new kind of NFL PATs – the 33-yard variety.
8:06 - Twitter Takes
Interesting note from Collinsworth there, about Waynes relying a little too much on recovery speed. Bet that was from a production meeting. — Ben Goessling (@GoesslingESPN) August 10, 2015
**7:53 - Early Impressions
Not a very good punt from Locke. Kevin McDermott had a low snap there. — Ben Goessling (@GoesslingESPN) August 10, 2015
Eric Kendricks in with the nickel there. Looked to have a bead on the pass before Jabari Price crunched the receiver. — Ben Goessling (@GoesslingESPN) August 10, 2015
7:42 – Bridgewater exits after sharp showing; Mike Kafka up next
Second-year QB Teddy Bridgewater had a sharp showing in the Vikings preseason opener, going 5-6 for 44 yards in one series of action; he also had one rush for 6 yards. Bridgewater has exited, making way for Mike Kafka to take snaps. Backup QB Shaun Hill will not play tonight.
Kyle Rudolph looked good, as well. He caught two passes for 22 yards.
7:39 – Notable 2nd teamers
-- Justin Trattau and Danielle Hunter at DE
-- Brandon Watts at OLB
-- Jabari Price and Waynes at CB
-- Antone Exum and Andrew Sendejo at S
-- Shaun Prater entered in nickel
-- OL from LT to RT was Bykowski, Thompson, Kerin, Shepherd, Clemmings
-- MyCole Pruitt was the TE
-- Matt Asiata at RB
7:35 – Defense forces first turnover
On the first play of the 2nd quarter of the first preseason game, the Vikings defense forced its first turnover. On the play, Audie Cole put a solid tackle on Steelers WR CJ Goodwin, causing the receiver to fumble. Antone Exum recovered the fumble and returned it to the PIT 37.
7:21 – Notable defensive and offensive starts for Vikings
In the preseason opener, a few notable starters include…
-- Hodges for Barr (didn't make the trip)
-- Audie Cole at Mike LB
-- Robert Blanton at S
-- Terence Newman and Xavier Rhodes at CB
-- Trae Waynes at nickel CB (with Greenway and Hodges at LB)
-- Mike Harris at RG
-- Charles Johnson at WR
-- Jerick McKinnon at RB
7:19 - Pregame Highlight and Photo Gallery
Watch our pregame on-field 'sights and sounds' video and view early photos from Canton.
View images from the Hall of Fame game between the Vikings and Steelers.
7:01 – First Look at New Rules
Tonight's preseason opener in Canton will give us our first look at the new and adjusted rules. Among them are…
-- Extra points will now be kicked from the 15-yard line with two-point conversions remaining at the 2-yard line. The new rule also gives the defense the ability to score two points on returns, whereas previously a failed try was immediately ruled a dead ball. Also, teams could change their attempt decision if a penalty occurs.
-- It is now illegal for running backs to execute a "chop block" on a defensive player that is engaged above the waist with an offensive player outside the area originally occupied by the tight end.
-- Included in the "defenseless receiver" definition are receivers in the immediate continuing action following an interception unless the receiver is capable of avoiding or warding off the impending contact. Violations of this rule will be enforced after the interception.
-- "Peel back" blocks by any offensive players, regardless of where they line up when the ball is snapped, are prohibited.
-- It is now illegal for players on a punt, field goal or extra point team to push teammates at the line of scrimmage into the offensive formation.
-- The replay system can now be used to check the game clock and put time back on the clock during or after the last play of the first or second half, or of an overtime period in the preseason or regular season, or of an overtime half in the postseason.
There are several others but these are the major ones that fans will notice each week.