OK, not really.
But Vikings starter Kirk Cousins was the only quarterback on the roster not to reach the end zone during Friday’s 30-minute, non-tackling scrimmage at U.S. Bank Stadium.
In five possessions against the first-team defense, Cousins directed two scoring drives that ended with Dan Bailey field goals of 31 and 35 yards. Cousins also went three-and-out twice.
Meanwhile, backups Sean Mannion, Jake Browning and rookie Nate Stanley each threw touchdown passes as the backup units went head to head. Mannion hit receiver Tajae Sharpe from 2 yards out, Browning connected with running back Mike Boone on a swing pass in the red zone, and Stanley ended the scrimmage with a 23-yard scoring pass in the closing seconds.
Cousins started with two weak throws for incompletions before completing his next five passes to set up the first field goal. The highlight was Adam Thielen outjumping cornerback Holton Hill on a deep-ball completion.
The lowlight was left tackle Riley Reiff giving up a red-zone “sack” to defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo. Naturally, the play was whistled dead without Cousins actually getting clobbered.
The ho-hum portion of the day: the placekicking battery of Austin Cutting to Britton Colquitt to Bailey went 2-for-2 on field goals and 3-for-3 on PATs.
The consistency of this unit has been a welcome change from what the Vikings went through last summer.
‘Crowd’ noise tested
Friday was the team’s first test for how the artificial crowd noise will sound and feel with fans not allowed in for at least the first two home games.
Let’s just say that the 80- to 90-decibel limit that coach Mike Zimmer bemoaned last week is much more restrained than any game day ever experienced at the Metrodome or U.S. Bank Stadium.
There’s no wonder Zimmer is bummed. The artificial crowd noise will not provide the customary advantage his defense typically enjoys, particularly in third-down passing situations.
Hollins plays big
Alexander Hollins, all 166 pounds of him, is making a serious push to make the team as a backup receiver with more than ample speed to stretch the field.
On Friday, he helped the backup offense move 66 yards in two snaps over three plays. Undrafted out of Eastern Illinois last year, Hollins outjumped rookie first-round draft pick Jeff Gladney to pull in a pass from Mannion for a 35-yard gain.
Two plays later, he drew a 31-yard pass interference penalty on Kris Boyd, moving the ball to the 2-yard line. Sharpe capped the drive with his touchdown catch.
Hollins was signed off the practice squad last December and played in five games. He started the regular-season finale and caught two balls for 46 yards as the Vikings rested their starters against the Bears.
This summer, he has been running with Chad Beebe as the team’s fourth and fifth receivers.
Hunter still out
Danielle Hunter sat out the scrimmage and still has not participated in a practice open to the news media during camp.
Rookie defensive end Kenny Willekes was spotted leaving the field on crutches.
Offensive swing tackle Rashod Hill suited up but did not play in the scrimmage.