Right now, it’s hard to say the Minnesota Vikings look formidable going heading into the new season, but in their 30-12 win over the Kansas City Chiefs both Matt Cassel and Teddy Bridgewater made strong cases to be the starting quarterback, while on the other side of the equation, Alex Smith had himself yet another awful performance.
How bad has it been for the Chiefs in the preseason? Following Smith’s 14-of-24 for 140 yards while throwing two endzone interceptions, the Chiefs went 16 offensive possessions in the preseason without a touchdown, until backup quarterback Tyler Bray, who also threw an interception, connected with Albert Wilson to make the score seem a bit more respectable, although it was quite clear the Chiefs had another bad evening of preseason football.
The Vikings weren’t exempt from making mistakes, as Matt Cassell threw an interception and Bridgewater wasn’t exactly flawless. Still, Cassell had himself a pleasant return to a team he didn’t leave on the best of terms, with the Arrowhead fans cheering his injury back when he was still playing in red probably still a strong memory for him. Cassell completed 9-of-17 passes, connecting with the promising Cordarrelle Patterson for the game’s opening touchdown.
After a series of field goals by Blair Walsh, Bridgewater got to play in the third quarter. He completed just 4-of-7 passes, but two of them were for touchdowns, both landing in the hands of Allen Reisner. The Chiefs were held on only five points through 59:35 minutes of football and even their defense which had so many great moments last season struggled in slowing down a team playing without their number one playmaker, letting Adrian Peterson sit one out.
Matt Asiata did a good job in filling his spot, carrying the ball 11 times for 48 yards. The Vikings are still a one-back team, just like the Chiefs with Jamaal Charles who was also their number one receiver last season. Still, it gives the Vikings an option to make things slightly more versatile on an offense that has struggled surprising opposing defenses in recent years, as amazing as Peterson has been at times.
The NFC North should be difficult to predict once again. The Vikings will be better, the Lions have improved and the Bears and Packers are always “there”. It seems that the AFC West won’t be easy this season for the Chiefs, who are no longer a team no one expects anything from, and unless Andy Reid can find the solutions to the major offensive glitches that he has at the moment, the boos at Arrowhead will be soon to follow.