Monday, August 23, 2010
Wrapping up preseason Week 2
By Kevin Seifert
Let's formally wrap up preseason Week 2 by examining the last of the NFC North's four weekend games:
San Francisco 49ers 15, Minnesota Vikings 10
Preseason record: 1-1
Of interest: While everyone focused on quarterback Brett Favre's four plays, middle linebacker E.J. Henderson completed his miracle comeback from a fractured left femur. Tackle statistics are unofficial, but I had Henderson getting involved in seven over the first two series of the game, including two behind the line of scrimmage. Unless something turns up over the next week or so, I would say Henderson is a lock to open the season as the Vikings' middle linebacker. Amazing. Meanwhile, the Vikings seemed to be in crisis mode on their offensive line. Center John Sullivan (calf) is expected to return to practice this week, but the shift of right guard Anthony Herrera to center was telling. It's possible they would consider Herrera at center with rookie Chris DeGeare at right guard rather than immediately re-inserting Sullivan. Finally, Joe Webb's 48-yard touchdown run was a sign that he might have a future as a playmaker. Favre lobbied after the game to get him on the field somehow. That will require some creativity.
Local coverage: Running back Adrian Peterson said he got "out-tempoed" by 49ers linebacker Patrick Willis on a blitz pick-up, according to Judd Zulgad of the Star Tribune. The Vikings' offense is a mystery, writes Tom Pelissero of 1500ESPN.com: "These Vikings, with their late-arriving quarterback and ailing receivers and short-handed offensive line, have so little work together offensively it's hard to imagine all their talent on that side of the ball showing up Sept. 9 at New Orleans." Brian Murphy of the St. Paul Pioneer Press: "Pocket protection was an afterthought for the Vikings as all three quarterbacks were left scrambling for their lives."
Next: Saturday vs. Seattle Seahawks
Earlier: Our review of Saturday night's games.