EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) — The third preseason game is the dress rehearsal.
The one time when the starters play extended minutes in an effort to gear up and get in sync before it actually counts.
And as David McCoy reports, what we saw from the Vikings Sunday night looked like anything but a team ready for the regular season.
Playing with a healthy offensive line for the first time all preseason, the Vikings starting offense gave up three sacks, committed three penalties and scored zero points in one half of work against a team that was the worst defense in the NFL last season.
“You gotta start feeling good about yourself going into these regular season games and we’ve gotta take advantage of these opportunities. And we didn’t do that tonight and we didn’t do that in the first games either,” wide receiver Adam Thielen said.
Since it’s a pretty near certainty they won’t play in the final game, that means the preseason is now finished for the Vikings’ starters. And their body of work on offense looks like this: 12 total drives, just three total points. So how concerned should Vikings fans be?
“Probably a little bit disappointed in the overall performance. I thought it was a little bit sloppy, too many mistakes. I thought we did a good job of getting drives going — getting a first down, getting two first downs, and then it seems like we’d just do something to shoot ourselves in the foot to stop it,” quarterback Sam Bradford said. “And to be a good offense, to be a good football team, you can’t do those things.”
“It’s one of those things where, it doesn’t get you till it gets you. So we gotta clean it up fast,” Thielen said.
“We’ve been doing a lot of installs and a lot of looking at different concepts and different things. And so now it’s time to get back to do what we do good,” coach Mike Zimmer said.
Which wasn’t a whole lot from the starters this preseason. Two weeks from now, it’ll need to be.