Chip Scoggins is a Star Tribune sports columnist. He previously covered the Minnesota Vikings for four years, starting in 2008. In addition, he covered college football for five years. Chip has been with the Star Tribune since January 2000. He can be followed on twitter at @chipscoggins.

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Vikings show mix of good and bad

Posted by: Chip Scoggins Updated: August 27, 2011 - 11:48 PM

We just wrapped up postgame interviews after the Vikings lost to the Dallas Cowboys 23-17 in their third preseason game at Mall of America Field at the Metrodome.

Here are some random thoughts in no particular order:

-- The Vikings want their first offensive series to be a blueprint for how they operate. Pound the ball on the ground with Adrian Peterson and then take shots down the field when the opportunity presents itself, like on Bernard Berrian's 49-yard touchdown catch.

-- It's no secret Berrian and Brett Favre never clicked, but Donovan McNabb clearly wants to get Berrian involved in the offense. If Berrian can provide that deep threat over the top, their offense becomes really tough to defend.

-- I thought the starting offensive line did a nice job of opening holes for Peterson and giving McNabb time in the pocket when he dropped back. Anthony Herrera said he felt good in his first game back from ACL surgery, which is good news for that group.

-- I wrote about cornerback Cedric Griffin for my Sunday column. Griffin played 27 snaps in the first half and was thrown at eight times. The Vikings need Griffin to play at the level he was at before tearing his ACL in both knees. The depth in the secondary is a big concern right now.

-- Christian Ballard looks pretty active at defensive tackle. Jared Allen said the rookie has done a good job of listening and learning from Kevin Williams in training camp.

-- The Vikings obviously need to clean up some mistakes. They had a field goal attempt blocked in the middle of the line that was returned for a touchdown. Erin Henderson ran into the punter.

-- I'm not completely sure how Bill Musgrave plans to use Joe Webb, but the guy can make things happen with his feet. He has an extra gear and is tough to contain in open field. It will be interesting to see how creative they get with Webb.

-- Christian Ponder didn't get many opportunities to show much. But he nearly got killed trying to elude tacklers after Brandon Fusco's snap sailed past his head when he wasn't ready.

-- Musgrave clearly loves to use tight ends in a variety of ways. He had three on the field at the same time multiple times tonight.

-- McNabb said he's starting to develop chemistry and rhythm with his receivers/tight ends/running backs. He certainly looks comfortable running the offense. I'll admit I wasn't sure how much he had left after last season. But if his line can protect him, McNabb should be able to spread the ball around to his different targets.

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