The Vikings trail the Cardinals 14-13 at halftime at TCF Bank Stadium in the second preseason game. The first team offense played the entire first half, gaining 199 total yards on 30 plays.
The Good: Quarterback Matt Cassel had another impressive outing against the Cardinals first and second team defense. He went 12 of 16 for 153 yards and a touchdown. Cassel even had a few scrambles, leading the Vikings with 30 rushing yards on three carries. Against the second team defense, Cassel had a two-play, 62-yard drive that was capped on a 51-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kyle Rudolph.
Cassel also had a solid 13-play, 65-yard drive against the Cardinals first team defense that ended on a field goal in the first quarter.
The Bad: The Vikings defense got off to a rough start on the first drive, allowing a touchdown on a nine-play, 93-yard drive that lasted 3:26. Wide receiver Jaron Brown accounted for most of the yardage on a 51-yard reception due to cornerback Xavier Rhodes’ missed tackle. Linebacker Gerald Hodges also missed a tackle on running back Jonathan Dwyer one-yard touchdown run.
The first team defense remained the game for the first half, with a few changes at strong safety and middle linebacker, and allowed 162 yards. The defensive line did a better job in pass rush situations than its preseason opener against the Raiders last week. Linebacker Anthony Barr recorded a strip sack to close the first half.
The Ugly: The preseason is already difficult to watch once the starters exit. Tack on the emphasis the refs have on some of the rule changes this year, and it makes the game drag even more. There were a combined 10 penalties accepted for 56 yards.