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NFL Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings Preseason 2014: 5 Players Who Stood Out In Week 2

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Minnesota Vikings Preseason 2014: 5 Players Who Stood Out in Week 2

Teddy Bridgewater Patrick Peterson
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings faced off with the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday at TCF Bank Stadium. After losing the lead late, the Vikings rallied behind Teddy Bridgewater to win the game 30-28 with little time remaining on the clock. However, Bridgewater was not the only standout performer for the Vikings in a game filled with multiple encouraging moments.

Here are five Vikings players who stood out against the Cardinals.

5. RB Joe Banyard

Joe Banyard Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

5. RB Joe Banyard

Joe Banyard Minnesota Vikings
Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Banyard, currently listed as the No. 4 running back on the Vikings' unofficial depth chart, had an explosive performance against the Cardinals. Banyard rushed for 64 yards, including a 56-yard carry, which lead to a Blair Walsh field goal. With Adrian Peterson and Jerick McKinnon as roster locks, Banyard is unlikely to make the 53-man roster. However, he has shown more burst than Matt Asiata, which may make cutting him difficult.

4. WR Rodney Smith

Rodney Smith Minnesota Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

4. WR Rodney Smith

Rodney Smith Minnesota Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Bridgewater may have led the Vikings game-winning drive, but it was Smith who made it all possible. Smith caught four passes for 55 yards, which all came during the final drive. He made plays on the ball both on his game-winning touchdown catch and his 37-yard catch on a slightly underthrown ball by Bridgewater. Smith showed ball skills and the much-overlooked asset of body control, forcing the Vikings to rethink his future roster status.

3. DE Everson Griffen

Everson Griffen Minnesota Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

3. DE Everson Griffen

Everson Griffen Minnesota Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Griffen’s performance may not look brilliant in the box score, but he was a major reason for the successes of the Vikings first-team defense. He recorded three quarterback hits and multiple pressures. Griffen had no issue getting past the Cardinals' offensive line throughout his time on the field, showcasing skills that may make him a breakout performer this season.

2. TE Kyle Rudolph

Kyle Rudolph Minnesota Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

2. TE Kyle Rudolph

Kyle Rudolph Minnesota Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

After a solid showing in limited time against the Oakland Raiders, Rudolph put together a big game with the first-team offense. Rudolph recorded four catches for 89 yards, including a 51-yard touchdown catch. He showed all the traits an elite tight end possesses, including speed that he has not shown in the past. He has now totaled 111 receiving yards in roughly a half of football, showing all the traits that made him worth a new contract.

1. QB Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater Minnesota Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

1. QB Teddy Bridgewater

Teddy Bridgewater Minnesota Vikings
Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Following a solid, but somewhat underwhelming NFL debut, Bridgewater put together a very impressive game against the Cardinals, capped by a game-winning drive with less than two minutes remaining. Bridgewater showed poise in the pocket and decisive decision-making skills while making all the throws a starting QB has to make. His resilience after struggling all week during practice is just icing on the cake.

Robert Reidell is a Minnesota Vikings Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google+