Chris Tomasson / St. Paul Pioneer Press
WINTER PARK, Minn. — When Vikings general manager Rick Spielman stands on the sideline at Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium during the team’s exhibition opener Sunday night at the...
MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. -- Teddy Bridgewater never had met Robert Griffin III. That is, until he beat him. Bridgewater, the Vikings' rookie quarterback, had exchanged text messages before with Griffin, who starred as a rookie with Washington in 2012. But the initial meeting didn't come until Bridgewater had gotten the best of RGIII in a 29-26 win Sunday at TCF Bank Stadium. "That was very cool,'' Bridgewater said about playing against Griffin. "Especially when you talk about Robert Griffin III, a guy who has won the Heisman Trophy (at Baylor).
Nobody is suggesting Adrian Peterson truly can be replaced. Then again, here’s a stat that provides some measure of optimism for the Vikings. In Peterson’s first 76 carries with Minnesota in 2007, he gained 383 yards. In Jerick McKinnon’s first 76 attempts as a rookie, he has 392 yards. “That’s crazy,” McKinnon said. “I never would have known that.” McKinnon has started the past three games at running back in place of Matt Asiata, who started the four games before that.
MINNEAPOLIS — After the Vikings won their preseason opener, defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd scoffed when it was suggested first-year coach Mike Zimmer might get a game ball. “It doesn’t count right now,” said Floyd. When it does, Floyd added, Zimmer will receive a game ball for his first NFL head coaching victory. Now it counts. Zimmer will serve as a head coach for the first time at any level in a game that matters in Sunday’s regular-season opener at St.
MINNEAPOLIS — Matt Cassel has won the Vikings starting quarterback job. Now, the fight is to keep it. Minnesota coach Mike Zimmer, as expected, named Cassel on Monday the starter for the Sept. 7 regular-season opener at St. Louis. He had been battling rookie Teddy Bridgewater. Bridgewater already has heard fans chant his name during preseason games, and they will clamor for the first-round pick out of Louisville if Cassel has a bad game, or even makes a bad play.
KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The thermometer read 97 degrees at kickoff, and still, Matt Cassel wasn’t as hot as he has been. But he still might have done enough to solidify the Vikings’ starting quarterback job. Cassel played the first 2½ quarters Saturday night at Arrowhead Stadium and got Minnesota going in a 30-12 preseason win over the Kansas City Chiefs. Returning to the city where he had played from 2009-12, Cassel completed 9 of 17 passes for 152 yards with a touchdown and an interception while playing two series into the second half.
MINNEAPOLIS — Matt Cassel’s work day on Oct. 7, 2012, began with an airplane flying over Arrowhead Stadium that pulled a banner calling for the Kansas City Chiefs’ quarterback to be benched. Then it got worse. Cassel, leading the Chiefs against the Baltimore Ravens, had thrown two interceptions and lost two fumbles when he took a hard hit in the fourth quarter.
MANKATO, Minn. — The Murderer’s Row of quarterbacks the Vikings will face in the first month of the regular season was read to coach Mike Zimmer. Tom Brady. Drew Brees. Aaron Rodgers. “You forgot Matt Ryan and those two receivers they got,” said Zimmer, referring to the Atlanta quarterback and receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones. You better believe Zimmer knows exactly who Minnesota will run into when the games start to count.
MINNEAPOLIS — Adrian Peterson is looking forward to seeing the locker room. Others on the Vikings have more important quests. Peterson, the star running back, won’t play in Minnesota’s preseason opener against Oakland tonight at TCF Bank Stadium. That’s where the Vikings will play the next two seasons as they await the opening of a downtown indoor stadium in 2016. The only game the Vikings have played at TCF was a 40-14 loss to Chicago on Dec. 20, 2010, a game moved from the Metrodome after the roof collapsed.
MANKATO, Minn. — The forecast calls for it to be about 60 degrees warmer than it was in the Twin Cities on Dec. 20, 2010. So that’s a good start. When the Vikings open their preseason schedule Friday night against Oakland, it will mark the first game they have played at TCF Bank Stadium since a frigid night four years ago. The Vikings are spending the 2014 and 2015 seasons at TCF with the Metrodome demolished and the team biding time until its new indoor stadium opens in 2016. The Vikings had one of their most miserable outings in recent years in their only previous visit to TCF.