The Vikings entered a new era Friday night, with Mike Zimmer pacing the sidelines at TCF Bank Stadium, the team’s temporary home for the next two years, and rookie quarterback Teddy Bridgewater making his preseason debut. Zimmer’s first game as an NFL head coach — albeit an exhibition — went in the history books as a 10-6 Vikings victory over the Oakland Raiders. But more important, Zimmer saw positive performances from both his starting offense and starting defense against a Raiders team that seems more likely to challenge for the first pick in the 2015 draft than for a playoff spot. “It’s important that the guys that go out there first, whoever they end up being, that we set the tempo,” Zimmer said. “It’s pretty much goods on goods. And with us not scrimmaging against each other [in training camp], it’s kind of a good gauge of where we’re at.” Starting quarterback Matt Cassel was sharp early, the starting defense gave up little ground and the Vikings jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. Wearing a dark gray polo and slacks and coaching with a defensive play sheet tucked under one of his crossed arms, Zimmer — the longtime NFL defensive coordinator hired in large part to overhaul the league’s 31st-ranked defense — was unimpressed with what he saw from his defensive starters, even though they turned up the heat on third down to force the Raiders into a pair of penalty-aided three-and-outs on their first two drives. “We’ve got a lot of work to do,” he said. “I mean, we challenged them. We were all right. We’ve got a lot of work to do.” The first-team offense was efficient and Cassel played well during his only drive, completing a pair of passes to wide receiver Cordarrelle Patterson and another to tight end Kyle Rudolph, who was knocked out of bounds at the 1-yard line. Running back Matt Asiata plunged into the end zone on the next play to give the Vikings a 7-0 lead.
A lot to like in first look at Vikings, who beat Raiders 10-6 in preseason opener
Minneapolis Star Tribune | Aug 9