For a "competitive rebuild" to be successful, as the Vikings are trying to pull off, a team must maintain a certain level of performance while integrating new players onto the roster.

It can create imbalances — ideally temporary, even if they happen — and leave rosters perilously thin on depth if the rebuild part is behind schedule.

That's what makes the 2023 Vikings an interesting case study, and what made Thursday's preseason opener worth watching.

Without (hopefully) overanalyzing four quarters of August football, there were several things to glean from a 24-13 Vikings loss in Seattle. I talked about five of them on Friday's Daily Delivery podcast, but let's go into a little more detail on them now.

Ty Chandler's time to shine: I'm not the first person to point this out, but running back Ty Chandler very much looks like be belongs on an NFL field. He ran with confidence and was particularly impressive with a two-catch sequence on the Vikings' first scoring drive where he twice made defenders miss and created nice gains out of nothing. Those are back-to-back clips starting around the 40 second mark of this cut-up of his touches.

Head coach Kevin O'Connell praised Chandler after the game, though he also said he wants to see more consistency in practice after previously talking about Chandler's need to improve in pass protection.

Mullens is no Cousins, but he was solid: I appreciate Kirk Cousins more whenever I watch someone who isn't Cousins try to quarterback the Vikings. With that said, backup Nick Mullens was solid in helping the Vikings jump to a 10-0 lead.

Cousins famously has not missed a start due to injury in eight seasons. For the Vikings to succeed this season, that streak probably needs to stay intact, but Mullens showed that for a few series or a couple of games, he can move the ball if needed.

Confidence in first layer of depth: Chandler and Mullens were part of an overall theme. The Vikings' primary backups and/or fringe starters were very competitive. Young defensive players looked comfortable in Brian Flores' system with a combination of aggressiveness, pass rush and good tackling.

The flip side, of course, is that the game shifted when the Vikings went further down the depth chart as they were outscored 24-3 after taking that 10-0 lead. The last 10 players on a roster shouldn't have to play a lot of snaps on offense or defense, but it shows that there is plenty of work left to do this preseason.

Getting it through the fork things: My wife asked our 9-year-old daughter last night if she knows what the object of football is. Her response: "Getting the football through the fork things." Yeah, none of our three kids are really sports fans (at least sports-watching fans).

But the "fork things," aka the uprights, have been a challenge for the Vikings in many years. Greg Joseph, the incumbent facing a training camp challenge, made both his field goal attempts (including a 54-yarder) as well as his only extra point. Assuming it's his job to lose, he helped himself Thursday.

Who are these guys?: Preseason rosters are naturally filled with relatively unknown players, but I found myself constantly wondering "who?" when I heard a name or saw a number.

Maybe that's a function of where I am with studying the roster, but it felt more like another indication of the transformation underway.