The Minnesota Vikings just completed their first preseason game, a 26-20 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders on Sunday night.
While you want to win preseason games, the most important part of them is seeing growth and development from your young players. For the Vikings, they also are using this time to install a new scheme on both sides of the football.
Within the game, there were definite winners and losers based on their performances in the matchup.
Winner: Ty Chandler and Kene Nwangwu
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On a day where Dalvin Cook didn’t play and Alexander Mattison only played a handful of snaps, the depth in the running back room stood out in a big way.
Ty Chandler looked like a seasoned pro with multiple 10-plus yard runs and a 56-yard kickoff return in the second half.
Nwangwu looked more like a seasoned running back than he did last year. He was seeing the field well in front of him and used his explosiveness to burst through the hole.
Mattison’s lack of vision was evident again in this game and with his two backups showcasing their great vision, he could be a surprise cut in a few weeks.
Loser: Sean Mannion
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The backup quarterback battle is going to be waging on throughout the preseason.
Going into Sunday’s game, both Mannion and Kellen Mond were listed as the co-second string quarterback. In the game, there was a clear divide between the two.
While Mond led multiple touchdown drives, Mannion struggled mightily. He wasn’t confident in the pocket and made poor decisions, including multiple near interceptions. Mond seemingly took the lead in their quarterback battle, but it’s far from over.
Winner: Brian Asamoah
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A third-round pick in this year’s NFL draft, Asamoah was viewed as a long-term project at the position. On Sunday, he made an impact early on.
My goodness, Brian Asamoah. What a play. pic.twitter.com/WfP4nBEVCg
— Will Ragatz (@WillRagatz) August 14, 2022
One of his best traits is explosiveness, and he showed that multiple times on Sunday. While he isn’t ready for a full-time starting position, the future is bright for Asamoah.
Loser: D.J. Wonnum
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Playing without both Danielle Hunter and Za’Darius Smith, Wonnum had a chance to solidify his status as EDGE3. Unfortunately, he was unable to do so.
Going into his third season, Wonnum showed that he still doesn’t have a solidified pass rush plan. On multiple reps, he just ran in a straight line without utilizing any pass rush moves. On the other side, Patrick Jones II was the complete opposite. He was using multiple moves and showed his explosiveness.
Being three years into his NFL career, it would be nice to see Wonnum further along in his development.