The Seattle Seahawks and Minnesota Vikings play their second preseason game of the year on Thursday. In preparation for that event, I sent 5 Qs to Ted Glover over at the Daily Norseman, and in kind he sent me back the Qs with 5 As. Here they are:
1. The Seahawks and Vikings have met a few times these last few years, including twice last season. In those games, Seattle did a pretty good job of shutting down the passing game (219 passing yards total in two games, with some thanks to the weather). I'm curious how the wide receiver depth chart is shaking out for Minnesota right now. Who are the top 2-3 options and who is on the bubble?
It looks to be better. The Vikings drafted Laquon Treadwell in the first round, and he should be one of their top three WR's, along with Charles Johnson and Stefon Diggs. Behind them the Vikings will have Jarius Wright, Cordarrelle Patterson, and probably Adam Thielen to round out their WR group. Moritz Boehringer, the German who became a fan of the NFL by watching Adrian Peterson highlights on YouTube, has struggled and will be lucky to make the practice squad.
2. The Vikings have a couple of quarterbacks on the back end of the depth chart who I know nothing about yet. Who are they and how much should we expect to see them on Thursday?
Shaun Hill is your typical journeyman vet who has been in the NFL forever, and will be the primary backup. Right now the third quarterback is Joel Stave, who is an undrafted free agent out of Wisconsin. The one guy they like and want to be in the mix is Taylor Heinicke, a second year guy. He impressed the team last year, and was going to be in the mix to be the #2 QB, until he cut a tendon trying to break in to his buddy's apartment after they got locked out. Yes, you read that right. He's out for another six weeks, so for right now, it's Hill and Stave.
3. Who is the most exciting player on Minnesota's 90-man roster who is still a long shot to make the team for whatever reason?
You know, I really like CB Tre Roberson. He was the starting quarterback for Indiana a couple years ago, then got hurt and transferred to an FCS school. He went undrafted, then signed with the Vikings, and they switched him to CB. He has a lot of competition to climb over to make the 53 man roster, but a practice squad spot isn't too far fetched. Another guy would be TE David Morgan. He's been making plays throughout camp and early pre-season, and although he is the 4th TE on a team that generally carries three, coach Mike Zimmer hinted that they might find a way to make room for him if he keeps playing this well.
4. The Seahawks are trying to sort out their offensive line situation right now, so it's important that the Vikings cooperate, of course. How's the defensive line rotation looking in the first quarter in terms of injuries and position battles? Who is a pass rusher to look for in the second half?
It's really one of the strengths of the team. The Vikings defensive line is good from left to right, and has depth at all positions. Fortunately, there are no injuries to be concerned about and the starters--Everson Griffen, Shariff Floyd, Linval Joseph, and Brian Robison--are set. For guys to look for later in the game, second year DE Danielle Hunter is a guy that's really coming into his own and is a guy to watch. Another guy is Justin Trattou, who is Griffen's back up and another solid depth guy.
5. How's Blair Walsh feeling about the Seahawks right about now? How are Vikings fans feeling about Blair Walsh?
He says he's put the game behind him, and it seems like it. He's had a solid camp and a flawless game against the Bengals. Look, missing a chip shot field goal at home was a brutal way to end a playoff game, I get that, but that wasn't the sole reason the Vikings lost. Walsh is one of the best kickers in the league, and with the Vikings moving back indoors this year, I expect him to have a big year.