Vikings Look Ugly in Preseason Opener

Ah, the preseason… that special time of year when fan expectations balloon to Mike Holmgren-size levels and on-the-bubble players lay it all out for a spot on the team. Speaking of Mike Holgrem, his Seattle Seahawks (10-6 last year) were in town last night. Some 62,545 fans trickled into the Metrodome to watch them trounce the Vikings in both teams’ preseason openers.

Before we get to the game, a little nugget of conjecture. The general consensus is that the season’s fate rests on Tarvaris Jackson more than any other player. Defensive schemes are sure to hone in on Adrian Peterson and fill in the box. And with an augmented receiving core—say hello to off-season pickup Bernard Berrian and an improved Sydney Rice now in his second year—there’s really no reason why Jackson shouldn’t produce. But, you know, no pressure.

So it was no surprise that coach Brad Childress and offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell didn't call a single running play the entire first quarter, opting instead to get Jackson plenty of reps. The third year QB looked comfortable in the pocket, completing 8 of 11 passes—and a 6 yard TD pass to fullback Thomas Tapeh to boot—before being taken out in the early 2nd quarter. No interceptions.

Meanwhile, the Vikes’ defense looked porous. The starters gave up 84 yards rushing in the first quarter. Also, 17 points. Icky stuff.

By mid-2nd quarter, most every starter was benchside. The Seahawks poured it on, and, with exactly 2:03 to go, fans started trickling out of the stadium. Which wouldn’t be so bad, except it was the third quarter. More than one fan expressed disappointment that Peterson saw no rushing attempts. Not one. And yet he still managed to rush for 181 yards. (No he didn’t.) Chester Taylor ate up seven yards on four carries. One touchdown.

On the other side, Seahawks quarterbacks Seneca Wallace and Matt Hasselbeck combined for a ludicrous 22 of 28 passing.

Final score: 34-17, bad guys. And now for the Outside-the-Box Score...

Nostalgia Moment: Seeing a middle-aged woman in the stands donning a faded-to-pink Jeff George jersey circa 1999.

Inappropriate Observation of the Night: “Cheerleading squad could use a few more black chicks.”

Random Fun Fact: There are but two NFL starters who hail from the “great” state of South Dakota. Both are Vikings linebackers. (Chad Greenway and Ben Leber.) They need a nickname. Anyone got anything? Anyone? How about Mount Crushmore? Mount Rush Less? Okay, that’s enough.

Fan Tension Level: Surprisingly high, considering it was a preseason game. At one point, a drunken Vikings fanatic started yelling at a gaggle of Seahawks fans. Something about Mike Holmgren, tight khakis, and Teddy Grahams. One of the ‘hawks loudly replied something to the effect of, “Look at the score!” (I’m quoting loosely here.) A security guard waddled down the stairs and told them to shut the hell up and watch their language. The NFL is evidently running a tight ship these days.

That is all. See you next time.

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