Despite a second loss in as many weeks, there is more optimism than the opposite to takeaway from yesterday’s bout with the Vikings. What did we learn? Well..
The offense is fine... sort of...
After a putrid showing against the Raiders, things looked much more as expected on offense. Murray dropped some dimes and young receivers stepped up. You’d like to see a bit more in the red zone, but at the very least they put specials teams in position for 3 field goals.
All in all, you should be excited to see the scheme in action once the training wheels are off. Provided the OL holds up. And about that...
The offensive line? Maybe not so much...
The offensive line still remains a question mark. Left guard Justin Pugh returned to action, and will hopefully shake the rust off quickly. Yes, they weren’t as bad as they were with the Raiders in town... but that’s not saying so much.
All in all, you should be excited to see the scheme in action once the training wheels are off. Provided the OL holds up.
Run defense is still a concern.
Yes, the damage was largely confined to a single run... (as far as the first team goes) albeit a 85 yard touchdown run. But it’s not something you want to see after the previous two games. Not ideal, especially with the Vikings down one of their starting offensive tackles. To add to that, the backup units didn’t exactly clean things up either, having given up 190 yards and two rushing touchdowns when all was said and done.
False starts are still an issue.
It’s not going to be easy figuring out what exactly goes and what doesn’t, even the typical foot raise alone got Brett Hundley flagged. Fortunately, the first unit fared much better and seemed fine without the clap cadence. Still, you’d like some consistency in this regard.
The potential is there for a stout draft class.
Obviously Kyler Murray is key to this, but outside of him the rookies showed promise with Zach Allen, Byron Murphy, Michael Dogbe, KeeSean Johnson and others making splashes. After years of less than stellar drafting, it’d be a nice win for the FO to come away with this class realizing all of its potential. Time will tell.
The battles among the wide receiver depth chart are still murky.
Things still aren’t any clearer as to how the wideouts will shake out as we approach the final cuts, in more than one way. Both on the bubble, Pharoah Cooper and Damiere Byrd both made big plays in the pass with the latter doing the better of two on special teams duty.
WR3 continues to be up for grabs as well. Was being the leading receiver yesterday in addition to standing out at camp enough for KeeSean Johnson to nab the role? Or will we see new addition Michael Crabtree or preseason producer Trent Sherfield take that job?
What did you learn?