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NFL Minnesota Vikings

Minnesota Vikings 2014 Preseason: 5 Takeaways From Week 3 Win

Minnesota Vikings 2014 Preseason: 5 Takeaways From Week 3 Win

Corey Wootton Minnesota Vikings
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

The Minnesota Vikings won their third game of the NFL preseason last night on the road against the Kansas City Chiefs. Mike Zimmer kept his offensive starters in for over a half of football, which kept the game fairly intriguing. The Vikings did a number of things well, which led to the 30-12 victory, but also made some mistakes as well.

Here are five takeaways from last night’s action.

5. Play Calling Much Improved From 2013

Mike Zimmer Minnesota Vikings
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

5. Play Calling Much Improved From 2013

Mike Zimmer Minnesota Vikings
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

While Viking coaches have yet to reveal a large majority of their playbook, the style of play calling has clearly improved on both the offensive and defensive sides of the football. The Vikings have been far less predictable, running a variety of different plays from multiple different packages. Offensive coordinator Norv Turner has kept opposing defenses on their heels, something that hopefully continues into the regular season.

4. Missed Opportunities For Sacks

Justin Trattou Alex Smith
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

4. Missed Opportunities For Sacks

Justin Trattou Alex Smith
John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

It would be very easy to praise the Vikings for the amount of pressure they were able to get on the Alex Smith and the Chiefs last night (five sacks, eight quarterback hits), but the team also left a number of opportunities on the table. Smith was able to escape sacks from Everson Griffen and Justin Trattou during the game. While the Vikings did win the game in blowout fashion, finishing sacks will be key during the regular season.

3. Matt Cassel Struggles After Strong Opening Drive

Matt Cassel Minnesota Vikings
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

3. Matt Cassel Struggles After Strong Opening Drive

Matt Cassel Minnesota Vikings
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Matt Cassel began the Vikings' opening drive with a 31-yard completion to Matt Asiata, and later hit Cordarrelle Patterson for a 53-yard touchdown to open the scoring. Following his first two completions, however, Cassel completed only 7-of-15 passes for just 68 yards and an interception. While Cassel began the game as a guy who appeared to have the starting QB job locked up, he proceeded to prove why there is a QB competition in the first place.

2. ‘Bend But Don’t Break’ Defense

Captain Munnerlyn Minnesota Vikings v Kansas City Chiefs
Getty Images

2. ‘Bend But Don’t Break’ Defense

Captain Munnerlyn Minnesota Vikings v Kansas City Chiefs
Getty Images

The Vikings picked off three passes last night, two of which came while the Chiefs were in the red zone. It appeared at multiple points that the Chiefs had complete control of their offensive drive and were going to march down the field for a score, but then the Vikings' defense swooped in. It is definitely nice to see the Vikings' defense finally winning the turnover battle on a consistent basis.

1. No Starting QB Named

Teddy Bridgewater Minnesota Vikings
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

1. No Starting QB Named

Teddy Bridgewater Minnesota Vikings
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Many believed that Mike Zimmer would name the Vikings’ Week 1 starting QB immediately following this game. This has not been the case, however, as no starter has been named up to this point. Cassel appeared destined to claim the job, leading a very impressive opening touchdown drive, but then struggled to find consistency. It will be interesting to see if Zimmer keeps Teddy Bridgewater’s chances to start alive for one more week.

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+.