Preseason game 2 vs. Titans: observations

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Texas Vike
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Preseason game 2 vs. Titans: observations

Post by Texas Vike »

Boring game, overall, with no major occurrences and no stand out performances.

Too many penalties, terrible OL play from our backups, and very little pressure from our DL.

IIRC we went to halftime leading 9-7 (which is all that really matters--in the 2nd half we played guys that mostly won't make the team), and of those three FGs at least one/ two should have been TDs if not for stupid penalties at inopportune moments that stalled drives.

Cine got burned on Spears 30+ TD run, but looked really solid otherwise. No one else really stood out on either side of the ball IMO. I'm ready for games that matter! :rofl:
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Re: Preseason game 2 vs. Titans: observations

Post by VikingLord »

:sleep: :sleep: :sleep: :sleep:

What? Did you say something Texas Vike? I was just having a nightmare that the preseason is still going on and the Vikings backups look, well, pretty much like backups...

:ripple:
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Re: Preseason game 2 vs. Titans: observations

Post by Texas Vike »

We have a preseason game and it doesn't generate ANYTHING here?

Bobby Dylan sang it best, "The Times, they are a changing!"

But, yeah, it was a super boring game. The Vikings under KOC really don't DO much in the preseason. It's probably the prudent approach, but I kind of miss the old days when it sort of mattered.
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Re: Preseason game 2 vs. Titans: observations

Post by VikingLord »

There are some items of note from the preseason games that are interesting. Ivan Pace, for example, continues to stand out. I really enjoy watching him play and if there is a level playing field for the starting spot opposite Asamoah, I wouldn't be surprised to see Pace win that.

Other items of note from the preseason so far is the depth at RB, WR and TE. There are going to be some really difficult decisions come cut down time at those positions, while assuming the starting offensive line can play better than the backups, the offense this year could be even better than what we saw last year, and that is minus Cook and Thielen. I was worried about losing their production heading into this season, but not anymore.

As for the defense, it's hard to say because the starting defense experienced so much turnover and Flores probably isn't showing all of his cards. There are some bright spots and some guys who might contribute during the regular season, some dark spots and guys who won't make the team, and some spots that are still very unclear what they are exactly. Take Cine, for example. He's looked pretty good at times, pretty bad at times, and otherwise unremarkable most of the time. Hard to say what the Vikings have in him and it continues to look like he's going to be a backup or role player at best this season. Some of the CBs have shown up and made some nice plays, but overall I'd say I'm still worried about the defensive backfield, at least from a depth perspective.

The Wilfs wanted a "competitive rebuild" last year and that general trend appears to remain heading into this season as well. The areas of concern last year remain concerning, while the areas of strength last year appear to be strong this year. It is a different team, especially on the defensive side of the ball, but I wouldn't be surprised at all to see them continue many of the same general trends as the season goes on.

I'm excited about their chances largely because they should compete and be in most games, even given their strength of schedule. If they manage to capture a little more fairy dust this year, who knows where they might find themselves when this season ends?
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Re: Preseason game 2 vs. Titans: observations

Post by Texas Vike »

Good observations, VL.

I'll just state in this thread that I thought Jarren Hall showed some flashes yesterday. He got especially hot on one drive (2nd to last, maybe?) hitting some nice down field throws, stepping up in the pocket, ... he got in a rhythm. It made me happy that they didn't trade for Lance and cut Hall.

The TE position groups is super complicated with Hock's contract situation and Muse who is on the bubble and has showed a lot of talent. He belongs on an NFL roster, but we have Oliver and Mundt. We're kind of stacked at TE, honestly. Is Hock really THAT much of an upgrade to warrant the contract he wants? I don't have a definitive, fully formed opinion on that. It's a difficult question to answer.

I look forward to seeing Flores' D. That Safety blitz sack by Ward gave us a glimpse of what to expect this season, schematically. Ward had a nice day beyond that sack too.

My main worry for the season is whether we're strong enough in the trenches to compete with the top teams. I think (and fear) that SF and Philly are built right to contend, and we're just NOT.
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Re: Preseason game 2 vs. Titans: observations

Post by VikingsVictorious »

Texas Vike wrote: Sun Aug 27, 2023 10:02 am Good observations, VL.

I'll just state in this thread that I thought Jarren Hall showed some flashes yesterday. He got especially hot on one drive (2nd to last, maybe?) hitting some nice down field throws, stepping up in the pocket, ... he got in a rhythm. It made me happy that they didn't trade for Lance and cut Hall.

The TE position groups is super complicated with Hock's contract situation and Muse who is on the bubble and has showed a lot of talent. He belongs on an NFL roster, but we have Oliver and Mundt. We're kind of stacked at TE, honestly. Is Hock really THAT much of an upgrade to warrant the contract he wants? I don't have a definitive, fully formed opinion on that. It's a difficult question to answer.

I look forward to seeing Flores' D. That Safety blitz sack by Ward gave us a glimpse of what to expect this season, schematically. Ward had a nice day beyond that sack too.

My main worry for the season is whether we're strong enough in the trenches to compete with the top teams. I think (and fear) that SF and Philly are built right to contend, and we're just NOT.
I like Hock make no mistake about that. However, the fake injuries (that's what I believe them to be) are quickly souring me on him and we have 3 nice TEs if we move on from him. We can't afford to pay everybody, and he will have less targets this year with Addison in the mix, so I'm very in favor of seeing what we can get in trade for Hock.
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Re: Preseason game 2 vs. Titans: observations

Post by VikingLord »

Texas Vike wrote: Sun Aug 27, 2023 10:02 am The TE position groups is super complicated with Hock's contract situation and Muse who is on the bubble and has showed a lot of talent. He belongs on an NFL roster, but we have Oliver and Mundt. We're kind of stacked at TE, honestly. Is Hock really THAT much of an upgrade to warrant the contract he wants? I don't have a definitive, fully formed opinion on that. It's a difficult question to answer.
It is tricky, but it's also a question KAM should be able to at least match up a general roadmap given how much of the cap KOC and he want to allocate to each side of the ball and the relatively importance of the positions to the scheme on each side of the ball. How important is the tight end position to the success of the scheme? That should set a max cap percentage KAM would be willing to shell out for any player at the position no matter how special an individual player might be. And then in that context how special is TJ compared to other players?

The general NFL market at any given position can also help set that max cap guideline for top-end talent. If the top TE is making, say, $10 million per season on average, and the average cap hit for the 10 most highly paid TE's in the league is, say, $7 million, then a max cap value for the position could reasonably be between $7-10 million per year if you have a very good, but let's say not an amazing, TE you either want to acquire or retain.

The last question a GM has to ask is does it ever make sense to set the market at a position? I would say it does if you have the consensus best player at a given position and that player is entering the prime of his career. JJ, for example, will probably merit a market-setting contract at the WR position.

Is TJ that kind of player at the TE position? Even if he were that kind of player, how many such market-setting players can any NFL team afford to have on one side of the ball, or on the team overall? Every dollar of cap that goes into one guy's pocket is a dollar of cap that can't be spent elsewhere, and the reindeer games GM's play with future cap dollars can come back to bite hard later if things don't work out as hoped, so this is as much an art as a science.

Personally, I don't see TJ as a market setter at the TE position, and I don't see the TE position as particularly critical to the overall success of KOC's offense. KOC seems to like to use his TE's to help block and be safety valves. He does send them downfield on midrange routes on occasion and they do get some opportunities to make plays down the field.
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Re: Preseason game 2 vs. Titans: observations

Post by chicagopurple »

Its sad to start a season already fatigued. The OL/DL issues which have dogged this team for a decade+ are completely unaddressed. I cannot understand how this has become the status quo for the Vikes. Regimes change and nothing changes related to the absolutely critical foundation of winning football. I am no great Cousins fan but I cannot say we have given him a fair shake. His entire tenure with us has been undermined by a near intentional neglect of the OL. Pretty much every Vikes team that was a realistically Super Bowl contender had impressive front lines. The names of those great players are now all senior citizens. Its been That long since management has made an effort and succeeded. Exhausting.