1. Teddy Bridgewater seems ready to let it rip during the regular season.
Bridgewater put to rest any concern about his right shoulder, and made the Vikings look silly for being so secretive about such a minor issue, by going 12-for-16 for 161 yards and a touchdown in Sunday’s 23-10 preseason win. Bridgewater’s mic-drop moment came when he threw three straight darts in the two-minute drill at the end of the first half. He showed excellent touch on a pass with zip when he threw over a Chargers defender on his completion to Charles Johnson. He had more than enough arm strength on the deep out to Stefon Diggs. And he was plenty decisive when firing that touchdown pass up the seam to Kyle Rudolph. Bridgewater will rarely be reckless, but he does look ready to take more calculated risks this season.
2. The Vikings should be excited about Mackensie Alexander’s potential.
With 2015 top pick Trae Waynes and veteran Terence Newman battling for one starting cornerback spot and with Captain Munnerlyn entrenched at nickelback, there is no clear path for Alexander to get significant playing time this season. But in the three preseason games, he has plastered himself to second-string receivers and picked off a pair of passes. While his leaping interception against the Chargers was an athletic play, the near-interception he had two snaps earlier was more impressive because Alexander read his man’s route and then beat him to the ball. Mike Zimmer said at times he may have to “pull the reins back” on his confident young corner. But Alexander has a chance to become something special if he keeps listening to his coach.
3. It looks as if Andrew Sendejo will start next to Harrison Smith in Week 1.
The Vikings have had five safeties vying to start alongside Smith. It seems likely that Sendejo, the incumbent, will be Smith’s wingman to start the season. This summer, Sendejo has been Zimmer’s steadiest option, which probably says more about the other guys than it does him. Free-agent pickup Michael Griffin has failed to distinguish himself and is now dealing with a back injury. Antone Exum is athletic but inconsistent and hurt his knee Sunday. Zimmer has said Anthony Harris is the “safest” option, and nothing makes Zimmer cringe more than big plays down the middle of the field, but he’s been hurt, too. Rookie Jayron Kearse has impressed and will make the team. But for now, Sendejo is the best of a mostly disappointing bunch.