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Saturday, August 10, 2013
Preseason Week 1: Brief glimpse of Vikings

By Kevin Seifert

Reviewing Friday's action at the Metrodome:

Houston Texans 27, Minnesota Vikings 13



Preseason record: 0-1

Of interest: Similar to fellow rookie Ziggy Ansah in Detroit, Vikings receiver Cordarrelle Patterson made an immediate splash. He returned the opening kickoff 50 yards and would have scored had kicker Randy Bullock not tripped him up. Patterson went on to catch a team-high four passes for 54 yards as the Vikings targeted him eight times on 27 snaps (a bit more than half of the game). Patterson's open-field aggressiveness was notable for his power as much as his speed. … Quarterback Christian Ponder and most of the first-team offense played only one series, which was a bit odd given the way it went. Ponder threw two passes, one of them a 15-yard strike to receiver Jerome Simpson and the other a mistimed crossing route that went off Simpson's hands and was intercepted. The pass looked off, but it's possible Simpson wasn't in the right place. Regardless, it was surprising to see Ponder get only two snaps. You either play or you don't, right? … Backup Matt Cassel had nice numbers (12-of-19 for 212 yards), but he looked unsettled behind the Vikings' second-team offensive line and had his yardage total padded by two nice open-field plays by receivers. Stephen Burton's pivot turned an intermediate reception into a 56-yard gain, and rookie fullback Zach Line broke two tackles to turn a short pass into a 61-yard touchdown play. … Rookie defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd showed up with a nice tackle behind the line but departed with a minor knee injury after playing 15 snaps. … Receiver Joe Webb had two catches and was targeted three times in 23 snaps.

Local coverage: Dan Wiederer of the Star Tribune: "A reminder: No one was all that worried about Friday’s final result. The preseason opener, after all, is most valuable for assessing the bottom half of the roster and the lesser-known commodities. Which is why Adrian Peterson, Jared Allen, Chad Greenway, Kevin Williams and Brian Robison were among the starters not in pads when the night began." … There is no quarterback controversy in Minnesota -- yet. That was Bob Sansevere's takeaway from the game in the St. Paul Pioneer Press. … Burton continued to burnish his case for a roster spot, according to Ben Goessling of the Pioneer Press. … Coach Leslie Frazier on Floyd's injury, via 1500ESPN.com: "He should be fine. We could have put him back in the game, but decided [with] where we were at this time of the year we didn't [need to]."

Up next: Friday at Buffalo Bills