By Scott Taylor
The Minnesota Vikings preseason juggernaut moved on unabated on Saturday night. Mike Zimmer remained undefeated in practice games and the Vikings looked more and more like a force to be reckoned with this coming NFL season.
That is, if you don’t even think about the fact that Zimmer’s 8-0 record as a pre-season coach makes absolutely no difference in the real world.
Saturday in Arlington, Texas, Vikings quarterback Teddy Bridgewater completed all seven passes he threw – he even completed one pass to highly regarded newcomer Mike Wallace – as Minnesota beat Dallas 28-14.
“Teddy was sharp tonight,” Zimmer said in his televised post-game news conference. “It was nice to see him get a deep ball to Mike. I know everyone wants to see Wallace get a bunch of deep throws, but it’s important for us to go through our progressions, go through our reads, and make the correct throw. That’s why his completion percentage was 100.”
In fairness, the Cowboys scored both their touchdowns early in the game with Tony Romo and the first team taking the snaps. The first TD was a 60-yard catch-and-run by Terrance Williams.
However, the big news for Minnesota was the play of Wallace. The big signing in the off-season had only one catch for two yards in the Vikes first three games. On Saturday night, Wallace had three catches for 50 yards in the first quarter. That included a 39-yard catch of a perfect Bridgewater pass along the sideline.
Again, in fairness, the Cowboys led 14-10 after Romo hit Lucky Whitehead (an early-season entry as Name of the Year) for an eight-yard TD on his final pass of the night. To be precise, the Cowboys first team did beat the Vikings first team.
On the bright side for Zimmer and the Vikings, however, was the fact Cordarrelle Patterson returned a kickoff for a touchdown.
“We’ve been talking about it every week,” Patterson told the Associated Press. “It was time to make something happen.”
Shaky Blair Walsh kicked field goals of 26 and 45 yards but missed a 43-yarder. Zimmer believes Walsh’s pre-season kicking problems have been the result of not always playing with the same centre and holder as the Vikes look at young players. Whatever. When the season starts, Walsh has to be better.
The Vikings other TDs came on the second and third teams’ reps as Dominique Williams ran three yards for a major and Joe Banyard ran seven yards for a touchdown.
As practices go, this was a good one for Minnesota, but the Vikings should always take this into consideration: Dallas failed to win a preseason game last summer, but then went 12-4 in the regular season and won the NFC East title. The Vikings won all four of their preseason games last season. But when the games really counted, they were 7-9 and missed the playoffs.
Every expert in the NFL believes the Vikings can go 10-6, finish second to Green Bay in the North and make the playoffs. If they do, that’s great, but as they proved last year, it won’t have much to do with their pre-season success. It never does.
Don’t forget, you can see the Minnesota Vikings live this season!!!! Garry Shymko, the mastermind behind Shymer Tours has a tremendous schedule of 2015 Minnesota Vikings games lined up. Our tour schedule is all set up and you’re invited to head to TCF Bank Stadium with us this season.
This year, games start at $359 per tour and that includes a ticket to the Vikings game, your bus trip to the Twin Cities and two nights accommodations at the Holiday Inn Express in Bloomington, just an eight-minute walk from Mall of America. I’ll see you at TCF Bank Stadium for the Lions on Sept. 21.
Here are the tours:
Lions vs Vikings | Sept 19-21, 2015
Chargers vs Vikings | Sept 26-28, 2015
Packers vs Vikings | Nov 21-23, 2015
Seahawks vs Vikings | Dec 5-7, 2015
Bears vs Vikings | Dec 19-21, 2015
Take it from me, these trips are sensational. And don’t forget, we hold court at most of them on Saturday afternoon at the Buffalo Wild Wings at Mall of America while enjoying great food and watching the best NCAA football games from around the United States.
Here’s how you get on the bus:
1. A non-refundable $200.00 per person deposit is required at time of booking. The remaining balance is due 60 days prior to the scheduled event.
2. Payments may be made by Cash, Cheque, PayPal/Visa/Mastercard.
3. All payments are non-refundable.
4. U-Drive confirmations will be mailed upon receipt of deposit. Event tickets, maps and directions will be mailed upon receipt of final payment.
5. Bus Tour package confirmations will be mailed upon receipt of deposit. Event tickets, hotel accommodations, miscellaneous information will be mailed out approximately two weeks prior to the event.
Just go here: http://www.shymertours.ca to check out all the sensational tours this year. And don’t forget, the Vikings are waiting for you at TCF Bank Stadium.